Chile have beaten Cameroon 2-0 at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium thanks to late winners from Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas in the first 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup match to be played in the Russian capital.
The goals came in the 81st and 90th minutes. They came after a disallowed first-half stoppage time goal by Eduardo Vargas, assisted by Vidal, that was ruled offside after the referee consulted the video replay.
That disallowed goal came in turn after Cameroon had their own goal disallowed in the 17th minute when Michael Ngadeu headed home from a free kick, but Slovakian referee Damir Skomina adjudged Vincent Aboubakar to have fouled Arturo Vidal off the ball.
The score was thus 0-0 at the break, despite some fantastic attacking play.
Cameroon keeper Fabrice Ondoa largely kept his side in the game with some amazing reflexes to keep Chile’s attacking three of Vargas, Edson Puch and Jose Fuenzadila at bay.
Chile seemed to be lacking the creative guile and killer instinct of Alexis Sanchez, who started the match on the bench. The Arsenal midfielder’s introduction on 58 minutes elicited a huge roar from the crowd.
His impact was felt 23 minutes later when the winger provided the cross from the left flank for Vidal to head home. This time the goal stood.
In second half stoppage time Sanchez found himself clear through on goal, dancing past defenders and then the keeper only for his shot to be blocked. Vargas was on hand to convert the rebound, but the linesman flagged for offside.
After initially disallowing the goal, Skomina called for it to be reviewed. After a period of consultation, the referee then awarded the goal to stand, putting the game beyond doubt.
Chile thus go top of Group B. In the other Confederations Cup game on Sunday, Portugal drew 2-2 with Mexico. Australia take on world champions Germany in Group B in Sochi on Monday.