The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international soccer event held every 4 years and serves as a prelude to the FIFA world cup. The FIFA world cup is currently ongoing in Russia under the auspices of FIFA.
The format of the FIFA Confederations Cup is quite simple as all the qualified countries are winners of their confederation cups excluding the host and the defending champions of the world cup. The qualified countries of the 2017 Confederations cup in Russia is as follows;
1. Russia (Host of the 2018 World Cup)
2. Germany (Winners of the 2014 FIFA world cup)
3. Australia ( 2015 AFC Asian Cup Winners)
4. Chile (2015 Copa America Winners)
5. Mexico (2015 CONCACAF cup winners)
6. New Zealand (2016 OFC nations cup winners)
7. Portugal (UEFA Euro 2016 winners)
8. Cameroon (2016 CAF nations cup winners)
The 8 countries are divided into 2 groups of 4 countries each with the host of the confederations and the defending champion of the world cup in opposite groups. 2 countries from each group qualifies to the semi finals and winners of the semi finals proceeds to the finals of the confederations cup. The 2017 edition of the confederations cup being held in Russia is of no exception.
Group stages of the FIFA Confederations Cup.
1. Portugal – 7 pts
2. Mexico – 7 pts
3. Russia – 3 pts
4. New Zealand – 0 pts
Russia 2-0 New Zealand
Portugal 2-2 Mexico
Russia 0-1 Portugal
Mexico 2-1 New Zealand
New Zealand 0-4 Portugal
Mexico 2-1 Russia
1. Germany – 7 pts
2. Chile – 5 pts
3. Australia – 2 pts
4. Cameroon – 1 pt
Cameroon 0-2 Chile
Australia 2-3 Germany
Cameroon 1-1 Australia
Germany 1-1 Chile
Chile 1-1 Australia
Germany 3-1 Cameroon
Top Scorers of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
• Lars Stindl (Germany) – 2 goals
• Timo Werner (Germany) – 2 goals
• Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 2 goals
• Hector Herrera – 2 Assists
• Joshua Kimmich – 2 Assists
The semi finals of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is slated for 28 and 29 June 2017. The country which topped group A will face the country that placed second in group B in the first semi finals and vice versa.
The semi finals fixtures are as follows;
28 June: Portugal vrs Chile
29 June: Germany vrs Mexico
Preview: Portugal vrs Chile
Portugal and Chile are both power houses in world football with Portugal winning the 2016 Euro championships while Chile won the 2015 Copa America. Portugal have surprised it’s fans to another amazing performance at the 2017 confederations by edging the host nation Russia and topping group A amidst the presence of Mexico and Russia the host.
Portugal and Chile have met 3 times in history with Chile yet to record his first win against Portugal. Out of the 3 encounters, Portugal have won 2 and drawn 1. The last meeting between the two clubs was on 26 March 2011 which Portugal drew with Chile. The major treat for Chile in this game the air power of Cristiano Ronaldo the FIFA best player. The major treat for Portugal are the attacking duo Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez with Arturo Vidal remaining as an external treat. Chile is highly tipped to win this game capitalising on the inexperience of the Portuguese team and the defensive rock Pepe who will miss the game due to suspension.
Preview: Germany vrs Mexico
The 4 times world champions and 3 times European champions Germany will face the 10 times CONCACAF championships winners and 1 time FIFA confederations cup winner Mexico in the semi finals of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup on 29 June. Germany and Mexico are both versatile countries in terms of international football and have met on 10 encounters. In the 10 games, Mexico have won only 1 with Germany winning 4 games and drawing 5. In the 2005 confederations cup which was held in Germany, Mexico and Germany clashed in the 3/4 stage where Germany defeated Mexico by 4 goals to 3 after extra time. This time, Germany will be facing Mexico in the semi finals with fairly inexperienced young lads. Germany have never won the Confederations Cup in the country’s history and are looking forward to winning their tier against Mexico. This game will be a very difficult one as Mexico has a lot of experience players who will utilise the unstable defence of Germany and some poor goal keeping exhibited by Germany. The young German players have strong fighting spirit which have being evident in their games and they will go down the wire with Mexico until they win the game. Germany is likely to win this game and make it to the finals of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The finals of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is scheduled to the place on 2 July 2017 and the 3/4 is also scheduled to take place on the same day 2 July 2017. The winner of the Confederations Cup shall get $5 million, the runner up will also get $4.5 million, the third place country will also get $3.5 million and the fourth place country will get $3 million. So far Russia have exhibited readiness to host the 2018 world cup. Russia have given free transport services to all supporters during match days which is very applaudable and football fans around the world are expecting more offers during the world cup which is scheduled to take place a year after.