Chile defeats Cameroon 2-0 in first Confederations Cup match

Video review used to overturn two referee goal calls

Cameroon fell to Chile in a 2-0 loss during their first match of the Confederations Cup group stage, although the headlines were more on the extensive usage of video review during the game. Cameroon, which is known for its above-average defense, was able to keep Chile scoreless for most of the first half, until stoppage time when Eduardo Vargas got a pass from Arturo Vidal and seemingly got a goal past Cameroon’s Fabrice Ondoa. However, despite referee Damir Skomina initially awarding the goal and allowing Chile to begin their elaborate celebration, the decision was sent to video review. After a couple of minutes, Skomina annulled the goal, getting Vidal angry and causing him to complain loudly in Skomina’s direction when halftime was called. “After the first half, we could’ve been up 1-0, and 20 seconds later, the players go to the locker room tied at 0-0. It’s disheartening, and we’re not used to the emotions that this situation generates,” was how Chilean head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi characterized the team reaction.

The game remained scoreless in the second half until the 81st minute, when Alexis Sanchez, who came in as a substitute due to a lingering injury sustained the day before, set up a header for Vidal, finally putting Chile ahead for real. Then, in the second half’s stoppage time, Sanchez got through Cameroon’s defense and had a shot blocked by Ondoa, but Vargas was there for the rebound goal. Initially, the referee called offsides, but after the second video review of the game, they called it a goal and the game ended in a 2-0 victory for Chile.

As for Cameroon’s head coach Hugo Broos, he called video review “useful and very important” as long as it wasn’t used “overboard”. Cameroonian midfielder Sebastien Siani gave his two cents, saying, “If we can make it a little bit faster it will be good for football.”

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