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Germany crumble in Argentina friendly

The Local · 16 Aug 2012, 07:49

Published: 16 Aug 2012 07:49 GMT+02:00

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Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella had promised to tease the best out of star man Lionel Messi by "talking to him as little as possible" - and both he and his teammates let their football do the talking against hosts who played an hour with ten men.

"One action changed the match," noted Sabella afterwards in referring to Germany losing inexperienced goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler after he upended the onrushing Jose Sosa on the half hour.

"At that moment the Germans were getting the upper hand and that turned things around. But they never gave up hope of getting back into it," noted an admiring Sabella.

Germany counterpart Joachim Löw insisted: "I was satisfied with our opening 20, 25 minutes, and we could have led.

"After the red card and an own goal it's not easy to have a go at the players," added Löw, referring to a curious opening goal which saw Sami Khedira knock the ball over his own line in first half injury time following Real Madrid teammate Angel Di Maria's corner.

It was the last thing Khedira needed as he had felt moved Monday to answer critics from the political Right as to why players of non-German origin often do not sing the national anthem.

The 25-year-old former Stuttgart man has a Tunisian father.

Before Khedira's unfortunate contribution, Zieler's foul had forced the team to take off midfielder Thomas Müller and also send on 20-year-old rookie Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Ter Stegen took his place between the sticks - then promptly saved a poor Messi penalty.

First choice Manuel Neuer was unavailable after bruising his pelvis in Bayern Munich's weekend German Super Cup win over Dortmund at the weekend.

Messi - who shattered Europe's goalscoring records last season with 73 goals in total for Barcelona in 60 games to beat German Gerd Mueller's mark of 67 set 1972-73 - would not be denied, however, and was at the heart of a fine win with the second goal in 52 minutes.

Another Real Madrid man, Higuain, was in the thick of the action as, having dusted himself down from his collision with Hummels, he set up Messi's goal with a fine run and pullback from the byline, leaving the Barca wizard with a finish from 15 yards.

Di Maria set the seal on the victory when he rifled home a left-footer from 30 yards with 11 minutes remaining.

Story continues below…

A late Benedict Höwedes header restored a smidgen of German pride.

Sabella, who replaced sacked Sergio Batista a year ago following an uninspiring Copa America campaign on home soil, had promised to offer attacking football an kept to his word, producing an entertaining evening at the Commerzbank Arena.

While Argentina celebrated a morale-boosting win, to add to their success in June in a friendly over Brazil, the Germans - despite the influx of new, young names such as Marco Reus - are still looking fully to get over their Euro 2012 semi-final loss to Italy.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:56 August 16, 2012 by raandy
The time for finding a new coach could be drawing near.

Former coach Klinsmann just led the USA to its first ever victory after 75 years of play with Mexico in Mexico this win preceded by the first ever win against Italy played in Genoa this past February.
13:03 August 16, 2012 by frankiep
I have been thinking the same thing since Germany's semi-final exit in this year's EM. Over the past few years Germany has consistently been ranked as one of the best teams in the world but have not been able to actually win anything. 2006 WM semi-final loss, 2008 EM Final loss, 2010 World Cup semi-final loss, 2012 EM semi-final loss. Maybe it's time for the DFB to consider that Jogi Löw has taken this team as far as he can and bring in someone else to get them over the hump.
16:49 August 16, 2012 by Bigfoot76
What does Löw have against Tim Wiese? A better question is why is he so in love with Badstuber? Yes it is a friendly but come on...you should still put at least a decent team together. Löw has better choices available, he just refuses to choose them.
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