6th minute: Germany's Leon Goretzka scores the opening goal of their Confederations Cup semi-final against Mexico at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Thursday night. The Germans won 4-1. pic/AFP
Joachim Loew hailed Germany's "brilliant" 4-1 win over Mexico in the Confederations Cup semi-final and said his young squad is ambitious enough to beat Chile in the final.
Loew opted not to bring his World Cup-winning stars to the Confed Cup, but Germany's young guns booked their place in Sunday's final in St Petersburg after a devastating opening spell in Sochi.
8th min: Goretzka doubles Germany's lead
Two goals in eight minutes
Attacking midfielder Leon Goretzka, 22, hit two goals in the first eight minutes to stun Mexico. Timo Werner, 21, made it 3-0 midway through the second half, then Marco Fabian scored Mexico's late stunning consolation with a thunderbolt free-kick before substitute Amin Younes, 23, netted Germany's fourth.
"From the beginning, we did exactly what we set out to do -- we were very dominant and brilliant in the opening stages," said Germany's head coach Loew. "They pushed us back a bit in the second phase of the first half, which was to be expected, and we gave up a lot of ball. All in all, 4-1 is a great result. We wanted to go far, but this is nothing that we could have expected at the start of the tournament."
59th min: Timo Werner shoots to make it 3-0
We were hungry: Loew
After Germany drew 1-1 with Chile in the group stages last Thursday, Loew says his team is hungry enough to beat the Copa America champions in the final.
"Chile is the most powerful opponent here. We know them pretty well and we expect them to go for it in the final," said Loew.
"They will be trying flat out to pull it off, as they are coming to the end of their season, and we will have to try and counter that. A lot of work has gone into our wins. We couldn't pre-empt this (reaching the final) as some players had little experience and you couldn't calculate how they'd react. We've become a team over the last few weeks. There's fun in the dressing room, but they aren't over the top. They know there is work ahead and they are ambitious enough to beat Chile."
90th min: Germany's Amin Younes adds the 4th goal
Goretzka and Werner are now the tournament's joint top-scorers (three goals). After scoring twice in Sochi, Goretzka says the Germans have a score to settle.
"I was happy to help with the two goals, our single-minded goal was to reach the final so we're delighted," said Goretzka.
"There is only one match to go. We're looking forward to playing Chile again, because in the second half (of the group stage match) we had the feeling the draw was not enough. Now we have another chance against them. In the first few minutes, we didn't do so well against Chile, so (against Mexico) we really wanted to get down to brass tacks and the two quick goals really calmed the team. We now need to reward ourselves for our hard work and we want to get the title."
Berlin: Absent World Cup-winning stars have toasted Germany’s Confed Cup success against Chile.
"Fiiiiiiinnaaaaall! 4:1. Very well done @DFB_Team! #letsdoit," tweeted striker Thomas Mueller. Jerome Boateng and Mesut Ozil were equally enthusiastic. "YES! #ConfedCup final! Proud of you boys," wrote Boateng on Twitter, while Ozil wrote: "Yeees! Final! Really happy for you guys."
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