MOSCOW – Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time leading scorer when he grabbed an early goal in their 1-1 draw against Germany at the Confederations Cup on Thursday.
Lars Stindl equalised for the world champions just before halftime although the game petered out in the second half as the high-octane Chileans appeared to run out of gas.
The result left both teams level at the top of Group B with four points each from their opening two games, although Chile have the better goal difference. Australia and Cameroon have a point apiece after their 1-1 draw earlier on Thursday.
The top two teams go through to the semi-finals and there is one round of matches in the group on Sunday, with Germany facing Cameroon and Chile playing Australia.
Sanchez’s goal was his 38th for Chile in 113 appearances as he overtook the previous scoring record held by Marcelo Salas.
Germany, now unbeaten in 12 games since their Euro 2016 semi-final exit, gifted Chile a sixth-minute lead when Shkodran Mustafi attempted to play the ball out of defence.
He sent his pass straight to Sanchez who played a one-two with Vidal and toe-poked the ball in off the post.
The referee poured cold water on Chile’s goal celebrations by appearing to call for a video reply, possibly to look at a scything tackle by Mustafi on Vidal, although the goal was quickly confirmed.
Defender Matthias Ginter made a similar mistake soon after but was let off the hook as Germany struggled to cope with the South American side’s high pressing and quick passing.
Chile came close to a second when Eduardo Vargas rattled the underside of the bar with a long-range drive and Sanchez continued to pester them with his marauding runs down the left.
But Germany equalised against the run of play four minutes before halftime when Stindl turned the ball home from close range after Emre Can’s diagonal pass had sent Jonas Hector free on the left to fire a low cross into the middle.
Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen then had to make a one-handed save at his near post to block a low drive from 28-year-old Arsenal forward Sanchez just before the break.
The second half was much quieter with Stindl producing Germany’s best effort, a low shot saved by Johnny Herrera.