SOCHI/MOSCOW: Portugal will face Chile and Germany will play Mexico in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in midweek after the group phase reached its climax in Sochi and Moscow Spartak writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Group A had been wrapped up on Saturday night with Portugal and Mexico progressing and with the Mexicans gaining the greatest rest and recuperation advantage of five days before they must play again.
Germany, second in Group B before the last two ties, stepped up to take top spot after accelerating in the second half in Sochi to beat Cameroon 3-1.
The African champions ended up with 10 men after the expulsion of rightback Ernest Mabouka albeit only after the video assistant corrected Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan who had initially dismissed Sebastien Siani.
Mabouka might consider himself unfortunate to have been dismissed at all after he clashed with Germany’s Emre Can when both players were stretching for a high bouncing ball.
Hoffenheim’s midfielder Kerem Demirbay shot Germany ahead in the 48th minute with Timo Werner adding further goals after 64 and 81. Inbetween Cameroon clamed a consolation when centre-forward Vincent Aboubakar glance-headed home a right-wing cross off the finger tips of keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
This was Germany coach Joachim’s 100th victory in his 150th game in charge since he stepped from assistant to succeed Jurgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup finals.
In Moscow Chile endured some nervy minutes before claiming a 1-1 draw against Australia and slipping to second spot which earned a semi-final date against Portugal in Kazan on Wednesday.
The Socceroos, for whom Tim Cahill was making a 100th appearance, took the lead in the 42nd minute through James Troisi, their Asian Cup match-winner.
A second Australian goal could have lifted them into the semi-finals instead of the South American champions but Chile reclaimed command of their destiny with a 72nd-minute equaliser from Pablo Rodriguez.
Wednesday: Portugal v Chile (Kazan)
Thursday: Germany v Mexico (Sochi).