Confederations Cup Group B favorites Germany and Chile drew 1-1 in Kazan on a night when Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time top scorer.
Sanchez opened the scoring for Chile on six minutes when he slotted past Germany keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after being played in by Arturo Vidal.
It was the Arsenal winger’s 38th goal for Chile and made him the country’s outright top scorer. It was also a landmark 400th strike at FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments.
Chile continued to have the better of the opening stages as their high pressing caused problems for the German back three, with Eduardo Vargas rattling the crossbar with a 20-yard strike on 20 minutes.
Joachim Low’s team struggled to make an impact on the game, but nonetheless found themselves level at the break when they broke out of their half and a fine team move was finished when a Jonas Hector cross was turned in by Lars Stindl for his second goal of the tournament.
At 28, Stindl was the only member of the German starting 11 to be born in the 1980s.
Indeed, much had been made before the game of this being a match-up between youth and experience. Low’s squad is the youngest at the tournament, while Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi has brought the oldest square ever assembled for a Tournament of Champions.
La Roja looked like the younger side in the opening exchanges though, hassling the Germans high up the pitch and not allowing them settle.
Their pressing paid off for the Chile goal on six minutes, when Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal forced Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi into a mistake. The ball fell to Sanchez who played a neat one-two with Vidal before sliding the ball past ter Stegen in the German goal.
That set the pattern of play for much of the first half, although Germany finally broke through with a flowing team move that saw a lovely pass by midfielder Emre Can in a move that was finished off by Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Stindl.
It showed resilience from the young German team but was a barely-deserved equalizer that meant they went in at the break on level terms.
The second half ebbed and flowed and Germany were much improved, although neither team forged clear-cut chances and both seemed content to play out a draw.
Both teams will still be favorites to progress from the group following their opening game wins, but must ensure they do not slip up as Germany face Cameroon in Sochi and Chile meet Australia in Moscow in their last Group B games on Sunday.
It will be no surprise if the pair meet again in the Confederations Cup final in St. Petersburg on July 2.