“Now we can all go on holiday — and even take the trophy with us,” he added with a grin.This is the first time Germany, the defending world champions, have won the Confederations Cup in the eighth edition of the pre-World Cup tournament.“There was not much difference between the two teams,” said Chile captain Claudio Bravo, voted the tournament’s best goalkeeper.“We are sad not to have won, but we played against a world-class team and must learn from our mistakes.”The video assistant referee (VAR) again came into the spotlight as Chile’s Gonzalo Jara was lucky not to be sent off in the second half.Despite his elbow in the face of Werner being reviewed by the VAR, the defender was only booked on 65 minutes.Werner, Stindl and Leon Goretzka all finished with three goals but RB Leipzig striker Werner took the top scorer’s prize by virtue of also supplying two assists.Despite dominating for long spells, Chile failed to turn 61 percent possession and 20 shots — compared to the Germans’ eight — into goals.The South Americans kept the same team which squeezed past Portugal 3-0 on a penalty shoot out after a goalless draw in the semifinals.Meanwhile, Germany’s only change from the team which beat Mexico 4-1 in the last four saw defender Shkodran Mustafi replace Benjamin Henrichs.Merciless pressingChilean fans turned the Saint Petersburg Stadium into a sea of red and merciless pressing by La Roja early on saw Charles Aranguiz and Arturo Vidal cause havoc in the Germany defence.Eduardo Vargas had the first clear shot on 11 minutes which flew into the grateful arms of Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.The South Americans then wasted a golden chance when Vidal’s shot was blocked by Ter Stegen and Alexis Sanchez could not connect with the loose ball.It proved costly as Diaz’s calamitous mistake and Werner’s quick thinking led to Stindl’s match-winner.Diaz dithered on the ball on the edge of his own box, allowing Werner to pounce. He then drew the lunging Bravo and squared to Stindl, who tapped home.Having fallen behind, Chile upped the pressure to force an equaliser which left space at the back for Germany to counter-attack.Draxler fired wide of the post, then Goretzka, who scored twice in the 4-1 semi-final win over Mexico, wasted a great chance by firing straight at Bravo just before the break.Chilean tempers started to fray, and approaching the hour mark Joshua Kimmich squared up to Vidal, who pushed the German away. The Bayern Munich team-mates were both booked.Then Werner was left clutching his jaw after an elbow in the face from Jara near the touchline, the Serbian referee deciding to award a yellow card to the defender after reviewing the incident.The South Americans battered the German goal in the final 20 minutes but Sanchez’s shot was blocked and Ter Stegen then saved from Vargas.With time running out, both Vidal and substitute Angelo Sagal fired over the bar, as the German defence held firm.AgenciesComments Tags: Confederations CupGermany FOOTBALL. Lars Stindl’s simple tap-in following a costly first-half blunder by Marcelo Diaz was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over Chile in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.Diaz’s momentary lapse in concentration let Timo Werner rob him of possession draw the goalkeeper and pass to Stindl, who scored into an empty net on 20 minutes in Saint Petersburg.“Unbelievable,” beamed Germany captain Julian Draxler, who won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player.“We fought well and deserved this win. We hadn’t played together before the tournament, which makes it even more valuable.“Every title is special, but with this young team, it’s even more so.Stindl taps home from an empty net
25 April 2014Versatile back Mark Richards has replaced Cecil Afrika in the Springbok Sevens squad for the penultimate HSBC Sevens World Series tournament next weekend in Glasgow, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed on Thursday.Afrika was not considered for the 12-man squad to contest the tournament in Scotland because he is still completing rehabilitation on a groin injury he suffered at the Hong Kong Sevens in Stellenbosch. Depending on his progress, he might be considered for selection should the need arise to call up a player for the London Sevens, which take place on 10 and 11 May.Richards last played for the Springbok Sevens during round one of the World Series at the Gold Coast in Australia.Good newsThere was also good news for the team. Chris Dry, an ever-present figure in the front row the past few seasons alongside veteran Frankie Horne and captain Kyle Brown, was cleared to play after initial fears that he might miss the last two tournaments because of a lower back injury.Dry was given the go-ahead being examined by three specialists and completing his functionality tests without discomfort.‘A quality player’Neil Powell, the Springbok Sevens coach, was happy with the preparation of his squad and especially the availability of Dry, saying in a statement: “Chris is a quality player and has shown great form for this season, so it’s a welcome bonus for us that he is available to play.”He added: “Mark [Richards] really put up his hand during our training camp of the past two weeks and deserves his chance. He has experience of playing at this level and is eager to grab his chance.”Hong Kong performanceSouth Africa suffered their first Cup quarterfinal exit of the season in Hong Kong against Australia after reaching at least the semi-finals of all the previous tournaments. Injury robbed the team of several players on the last day of that event, but they still managed to win the Plate Final against Wales.Prior to their Hong Kong Cup exit, the Springbok Sevens were in excellent form and appeared in five consecutive Cup Finals. They are currently seven points behind log leaders New Zealand.PoolThe Springbok Sevens team will play Portugal, Samoa and New Zealand in the pool stages in Glasgow.SPRINGBOK SEVENS SQUADChris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne, Jamba Ulengo, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Stephan Dippenaar, Justin Geduld, Mark Richards, Kwagga Smith, Seabelo SenatlaSAinfo reporter
Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna headed to Myanmar on Monday after reaffirming India’s commitment to economic and strategic cooperation with its Mayanmar’s new nominally civilian government.Krishna is the first high-level Indian official to visit Myanmar since an elected government replaced a military junta in March.India and Myanmar have developed deep economic and security ties over the past decade. India has said it believes talking quietly is a better approach than sanctions in dealing with Myanmar’s military-backed government, which has been widely criticized for human rights abuses.On Monday, Krishna did not reply directly to a question about whether he would meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during his three-day visit. “I don’t know if I will get a chance to interact with other leaders during my brief stay in Yangon,” he said.India is also wary of China’s growing influence in Myanmar, and is in competition with its large regional rival for access to the country’s large natural gas resources.India and Myanmar have widened cooperation between their security forces since the mid-1990s, with both countries fighting armed insurgencies along their shared border.India says separatist rebels in its northeastern states often slip across the 1,000-mile-long border and take shelter in jungle bases inside Myanmar.Krishna, who will meet Myanmar President Thein Sein, said he will explore ways to increase trade and investment in oil and gas projects, hydroelectric power and railways.Two-way trade, which has doubled since 2006, reached $1.57 billion in 2010. The two countries will also review progress on a $110 million project to improve transport links to India’s remote northeastern states, Krishna said.advertisementThe ambitious Kaladan project includes the building of roads, a waterway on the Kaladan River and development of Sittwe port in western Myanmar, which will provide an opening to the sea for India’s landlocked northeastern states.- With AP inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
South African cricket’s many colours mix uneasilyThe Centurion: Its “historical allies” in India may have been dewy eyed at the stirring support in cricket’s Dennessgate crisis, but the United Cricket Board (UCB) of South Africa is coming to live with the realisation that its damage control exercise may end up,South African cricket’s many colours mix uneasilyThe Centurion: Its “historical allies” in India may have been dewy eyed at the stirring support in cricket’s Dennessgate crisis, but the United Cricket Board (UCB) of South Africa is coming to live with the realisation that its damage control exercise may end up doing more damage than anticipated. While UCB officials maintain that they had little choice but to support the Indians due to financial and political pressures, the noises coming from the Board indicate that more rumbling is to follow.In a country where Hansie Cronje’s betrayal was taken very personally, the Johannesburg Star thundered that the UCB had misjudged the situation at every level, including the moral.It had therefore abandoned the right to stand on judgement on any issue anymore. “The UCB has weakened its own stance regarding the Hansie Cronje scandal. The moral rectitude practised now seems rather unconvincing. It has undermined the position of a governing body of the sport to such an extent that any future pleas will seem almost laughable,” wrote the daily. Many believe that the current chorus of disapproval of the UCB’s actions is part of a campaign targeted at the new UCB chief executive Gerald Majola, who has rivals in the Asian lobby of the Board.The South African team may be predominantly white today but the Board is a more mixed, with enough representations of white, black and Asian interests. The Indian predicament and the case for standing up to Mike Denness is now secondary.advertisementAt the top of South African minds is alarm that the UCB is aligning itself with the new rebel forces of international cricket a perception that has the most disturbing associations here.While UCB President Pery Sonn maintained his Board had not defied ICC, followers of that school of thought are very few.