Germany defeated ten man Cameroon 3-1 in an engrossing Confederations Cup game, eliminating the African Champions and winning group B, meaning they advance to the semi finals.
The first half ended goalless, with Marc Andre Ter Stegen being responsible on the brink of half time, as he made a breathtaking save to push André Zambo Anguissa’s stretching shot over the bar. Excluding that shot on target, the first half scoreline doesn’t tell the full story of the half events as Germany were more dangerous.
The World champions were disciplined out of possession, absorbing pressure from Cameroon, and when they attacked they progressed into the final third through fluent passing, and movement into space. Joshua Kimmich missed Germany’s best chance of the half as his diving header from the influential Marvin Plattenhardt’s cross went wide. Whereas, Cameroon attacked with urgency, but were one dimensional as Bassogog was their main, if not only, attacking threat, especially in transition using his pace and taking on Germany’s defenders with quick footwork.
The second half was a highly eventful four goal thriller, including the use of a hot topic at this tournament, the Video Assistant Referee.
Germany began the half with a higher intensity going forward than in the first, which paid off only two minutes in as Kerem Demirbay opened the scoring with a powerful right footed shot into the top right corner, assisted by a slick return pass from captain Julian Draxler. Following the goal, the World Champions continued to pressurise Cameroon’s defence, frequently using the soon to be influential Timo Werner’s pace by playing passes behind Cameroon’s defence for the Leipzig striker to chase.
Within the opening ten minutes of the half, Germany were in complete control and came closest to scoring when a rebound shot from Kimmich was saved by Fabrice Ondoa ,who got down quickly.
Around the 60 minute mark the referee made the VAR signal and used a television monitor to review Ernest Mabouka’s challenge, a studs up late attempt to win the ball, which resulted in him ultimately being sent off, reducing Cameroon to ten men.
Almost immediately after play restarted following the red card incident, Germany capitalised as Werner doubled their lead with a low diving header from a typically accurate Kimmich cross from the right flank.
In the ten minutes thereafter, Germany played with less intensity, limiting themselves to long shots, which led to Cameroon capitalising as Vincent Aboubakar scored a header at the near post from Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu’s cross, which Ter Stegen could have got stronger hands on.
Aboubakar’s goal sparked Germany going on the offensive, seeking to regain their two goal lead, therefore, the final ten minutes were dominated by Germany at the expense of Cameroon’s ten men. On the 80 minute mark, Werner scored his second goal and Germany’s third with a decisive, first time shot assisted by substitute Benjamin Henrich’s square ball.
The remainder of the half mainly consisted of Werner determined to complete his hat trick, and Amin Younes eager to score his first goal of the tournament off the bench; Younes came close to opening his account with a shot in the twelve yard area going narrowly wide, from a shooting opportunity created by his clever footwork going wide.
Karl Toko Ekambi summed up the half when he struck a wild shot over the bar in stoppage time.
Germany’s semi final opponents will be group A runners up Mexico, a team that have showed a great fighting spirit as both of their final two group games were comeback victories from a goal down.