FIFA Confederations Cup 2017
Otkrytie Arena, Moscow, Russia
South American Champions Chile moved to the top of Group B in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Cameroon at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow, in what was their opening fixture in the tournament.
Eduardo Vargas’s late stoppage-time strike sealed the victory after Arturo Vidal had put the Chileans ahead nine minutes from time.
The South American Champions started in the ascendancy and very nearly took the lead within the first minute when Eduardo Vargas fired an effort against the post with the loose ball ricocheting off Fabrice Ondoa and going behind.
A minute later the Chileans went close again when José Pedro Fuenzalida got the better of Adolphe Teikeu before firing an effort on the volley that Ondoa palmed away.
In the 10th minute the African Champions had a good chance when Vincent Aboubakar was fed, the striker surged forward before firing an effort that Johnny Herrera smothered away with his outstretched-foot.
Six minutes later Cameroon thought they had taken the lead when Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui headed home a freekick but the referee had already blown for an apparent foul on Vidal, although there was minimal contact.
In the 24th minute Chile went close when Edson Puch’s effort at-goal from-range was palmed away by Ondoa. Two minutes later Chile had another good chance when Fuenzalida was played through on-goal but his touch was poor and Ondoa tipped the ball behind.
Chile thought they had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Vargas fired home after being sent through on-goal by Vidal. However the referee used the Video Assistant Referee system before coming to the decision that Vargas was marginally offside.
In the 66th minute Cameroon went close when a freekick from Benjamin Moukandjo curled just wide.
Five minutes later Chile should have taken the lead when a dangerous delivery from a corner by substitute Leonardo Valencia found Mauricio Isla at the back-post, but with the goal at his mercy, he somehow headed the ball wide, when he had to score.
Ten minutes later Chile opened the scoring when Vidal met a brilliant cross from substitute Alexis Sánchez with a header that found the back of the net.
The South American Champions sealed the victory in stoppage-time when Sánchez was played through on-goal, the Arsenal winger rounded the keeper and looked set to make the net bulge but his strike was blocked on the line by substitute Georges Mandjeck, the loose ball fell kindly to Vargas, who fired the loose ball home. The linesman had his flag raised but the referee used the VAR system to allow the goal to stand.
The result meant that Chile moved to the top of Group B on three points ahead of Australia’s clash with Germany, while Cameroon dropped to the bottom of the table.