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Russia passes Confederations Cup test but hosts need a team to rally behind

Chile Training - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017

The Confederations Cup is drawing to a close, and overall Russians will feel pleased at how the eight-team warm-up tournament has gone – except for the performance of the home team. On Sunday evening, Germany take on Chile in the late sunlight of a St Petersburg summer evening, and then that will be it until 14 June next year, when the Fifa circus descends on Russia for the main event.

Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos revolution delivers mixed results in Russia

Chile v Australia - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 - Group B

Ange Postecoglou wants to revolutionise Australian football. He has said so repeatedly during his four-year reign at the helm of the national team, and his players are quick to repeat this mantra at every opportunity. The 51-year-old aspires to create a Socceroos side that favours passing over pragmatism, creative attack over aerial bombardment.

Martín Rodríguez strikes equaliser against Australia to take Chile to semis

Chile v Australia - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 - Group B

The line between genius and insanity can be wafer thin. When Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou made six changes to his starting line-up to face South American champions Chile, many of his critics in the media centre and the stands thought he was deluded. The embattled manager left two of his best attacking players – Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic – on the bench, for an encounter Australia needed to win by two goals to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-finals.

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Chile Training - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017

Russia passes Confederations Cup test but hosts need a team to rally behind

The Confederations Cup is drawing to a close, and overall Russians will feel pleased at how the eight-team warm-up tournament has gone – except for the performance of the home team. On Sunday evening, Germany take on Chile in the late sunlight of a St Petersburg summer evening, and then that will be it until 14 June next year, when the Fifa circus descends on Russia for the main event.