MOSCOW (AP) — Arturo Vidal brushed off a hotly disputed video review to give Chile a 2-0 win over Cameroon in the Confederations Cup on Sunday.
Vidal’s 81st-minute header after a pass from substitute Alexis Sanchez gave the South American champion a Group B win which was anything but routine, before another goal was decided by video review.
The Chileans had thought they’d taken the lead in first-half stoppage time when Eduardo Vargas slotted the ball past Fabrice Ondoa after a pass from Vidal.
Referee Damir Skomina awarded the goal and Chile’s players started an elaborate goal celebration, but the decision was then sent for video review — the key piece of new technology being debuted by FIFA at the Confederations Cup.
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Players milled about in confusion, some briefly appearing to think the referee had blown for half-time, and Chile’s many traveling fans struggled to understand what was going on.
The review found Vargas offside by a matter of inches, enraging him and Vidal, who angrily petitioned Skomina when he blew for half time.
After Vidal put Chile ahead in the 80th, Vargas scored Chile’s second — but only after another review.
Sanchez charged through the Chilean defense, but saw his shot saved by Ondoa, only for Vargas to score the rebound. The review found Sanchez hadn’t been offside when he received the ball.
Chile dominated the game throughout, but couldn’t finish several first-half chances.
Cameroon was under pressure immediately, when Eduardo Vargas’ first-minute shot cannoned off the post and rebounded back into goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa, almost going in.
Ondoa had to palm away a Jose Fuenzalida shot two minutes later as Chile took firm control.
With Cameroon’s defense playing narrow and ceding the flanks to Chile, Ondoa was also called upon to block a shot from Edson Puch, while Vargas blazed the ball over the bar in the 40th minute.
Cameroon’s chances came thanks to occasional poor passing at the back from Chile, with Vincent Aboubakar forcing a save in the 11th from keeper Johnny Herrera, in for the injured Claudio Bravo.
The Cameroonians got the ball in the net once, but the whistle had already gone for a foul on Vidal by the time Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui headed the ball into the net at a 17th-minute free kick.
The controversial video review left Chile’s confidence dented in the second half, as Cameroon started to push forward, though without creating clear-cut chances.
Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo curled a free-kick narrowly off target in the 67th, while Chile had another chance when Mauricio Isla’s header went narrowly wide at a corner.