Berlin/St. Petersburg - Germany and Marvin Plattenhardt are Confed Cup winners! Germany won the tournament for the first time on Sunday evening after beating Chile 1-0 in the final. "The make-up of our team makes the victory all the more special. We'd never played together before so winning the title is an even bigger achievement," said a jubilant captain, Julian Draxler, who led the team in Russia.
"We fought really hard and deserved to win," said Draxler, who was named player of the tournament. Although Chile started the game well and created numerous good opportunities, it was Joachim Löw's side, with Marvin Plattenhardt on the bench, who took the lead. A Chilean mistake inside their own penalty area was penalised by Timo Werner, who set up Lars Stindl for a simple tap-in in the 20th minute. Chile did come back strongly, however, but Germany created the better chances towards the end of first half, with Leon Goretzka and Draxler missing good opportunities to extend Germany's lead before the break.
The South-Americans continued to put Germany under pressure in the second half. However, the Germans and Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal refused to be beaten. Chile fought hard until the very end and the match became increasingly physical, but the Germans were able to hold on despite a late Chilean onslaught. "The team worked hard and fought for everything, I'm extremely proud of the boys," said Germany head coach Joachim Löw.
"No one fancied us before the tournament. We got better from game to game, fought hard and grew together as a team over a short period of time," said Joshua Kimmich. This was Plattenhardt's first title. He played the full 90 minutes of the group match against Cameroon. Now he has some time off while his club colleagues begin pre-season training in Berlin. Plattenhardt will link up with Hertha on 17th July.