SOCHI (Reuters) - Germany eased into the Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Cameroon on Sunday as the VAR system was again thrust into the spotlight when the on-field official needed two reviews of an incident to send off the correct player.
Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan consulted the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) just past the hour after a reckless high challenge by Ernest Mabouka on Germany’s Emre Can saw Sebastien Siani wrongly shown a yellow card in a case of mistaken identity.
But even then Roldan did not come up with the right outcome as he simply switched the colour of Cameroon midfielder Siani’s card from yellow to red.
It was only after Cameroon’s players insisted the referee review the incident again that he realised his error, rescinded Siani’s sending off and instead flashed the red card to the correct culprit Mabouka, leaving coach Hugo Broos bewildered.
“Everybody’s confused including me,” the Cameroon manager told reporters. “First of all I saw a red card, then it was a yellow card, then he (the referee) came to the jury next to the pitch, then he went again to player, then he gave a red card for another player, so don’t ask me what really happened.”
He added: “Both players had their legs really high. I don’t see why he had to give a red card to my player.”
Germany topped Group B to set up a last four meeting with Mexico at the same venue on Thursday after the first international goals for Kerem Demirbay and Timo Werner, who got two. Vincent Aboubakar scored Cameroon’s consolation.
The drama came on a landmark day for Joachim Loew, who celebrated his 100th win as Germany head coach in his 150th game in charge.
Germany took the lead in the 48th minute as a superb back-heel from captain Julian Draxler steered the ball into the path of former Turkey junior international Demirbay and he rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
After the lengthy stoppage involving the red card incident, Germany made their numerical advantage count almost immediately as Werner also got his first Germany goal with an excellent header from Kimmich’s fine cross to the back post.
Cameroon were gifted a way back into the match when Marc-Andre ter Stegen let Aboubakar’s header burst through his gloves in what was a poor goal to concede for the Barcelona keeper.
Any thoughts of a comeback from the 10 men, though, were quashed when Werner lashed home his second as Germany’s young side went on to seal a comfortable win.
(The story was refiled to delete an extraneous word in the first paragraph)
Reporting by Nick Said; additional reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ian Chadband