Germany 2-2 Argentina: international football friendly – as it happened

Gregg Bakowski on 9 October 2019

Right, I’m off. Thanks for your emails. There will be a report here to read shortly. I hear Guildford is nice this time of year …

Full-time: Germany 2-2 Argentina

And that’s that. Argentina were woeful in the first half and this result looked to be a pipe dream when they trudged in 2-0 down. But Germany allowed complacency to creep into their play in the second half and their changes weakened them. Argentina grew as they got to grips with a 3-4-3 formation and their changes brought energy into their play and they deserved their slightly fortunate equaliser. It was a decent friendly all told – and both managers will have learned something from it.

90 min: De Paul is off and Rodriguez is on.

87 min: Argentina can smell a winner. Martinez has been given a new lease of life by his strike partner Alario, who is ever so busy and giving Martinez space. A cross into the Germany box causes panic and Can hoofs clear from six yards. Löw will not be impressed by this second half display. He may well put his hand somewhere sweaty, show his young Germany team, and then tell them their performance smells like it.

86 min: Before that goal, Argentina could very easily have had a man sent off. Ocampos was booked for a foul on Klostermann but replays show that Paredes leapt in two-footed from the side and also got a bit of the Germany player’s ankle. Had the referee seen that I think he would have seen red.

Goal! Germany 2-2 Argentina (Ocampos 85)

Waldschmidt is picked off in Germany’s midfield and Argentina race forwards. Martinez sprints into the box and lays the ball off to Ocampos, who bends a shot at goal that clips Can and goes in. Ter Stegen had no chance. But that was coming. Germany were sloppy again.

Lucas Ocampos of Argentina scores the equaliser.
Lucas Ocampos of Argentina scores the equaliser. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images

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82 min: Argentina are looking the more likely team to score. They have finally turned up and look like they give a flying one now. Sloppiness has crept into Germany’s play and they will pay if they don’t sharpen up. Rudy is on for Germany’s second goalscorer, Havertz. Rudy is a Schalke midfielder currently on loan at Hoffenheim.

79 min: With reference to an email on seven minutes, Ben Maiden writes: “Gregg, I lived in Guildford in the late 90s and a definite highlight would be the time I watched Steve Hoare being carried out of Bojangles ‘nite’ club by two bouncers. (He knows what he did.) A lowlight, oddly enough given the Figo photo, was eating a dish prepared by my roommate of the time that he called ‘Astronaut Pie.’ I shudder to recall.” You know a nightclub is moody when it’s called a “nite” club.

77 min: Germany are in danger of doing themselves harm here. From their own free-kick in the right-back position, Can plays a ridiculous cross-field pass that is cut out. Argentina pile forwards and Martinez rifles a right-footed shot just wide.

76 min: Pereyra’s shift is over. Renzo Saravia punches in in his place.

75 min: … and Kimmich thumps a shot at the near post that Marchesin can only punch clear, clumsily.

74 min: Amiri tricks his way through three Argentina defenders and Pereyra sticks a foot out to bring him down. Free-kick to Germany on the corner of the box. Kimmich to take it …

72 min: Gnabry, who scored the first goal, is replaced by Suat Serdar, a midfielder with Schalke who is making his debut. This Germany side is gradually looking more experimental and Argentina can sense a chance to make the most of the disjointedness that has crept into the home side’s play.

70 min: Paredes fizzes a shot at goal that Ter Stegen plucks from the air. They’re calling it a TV save on Sky. It dipped a little as it came to him so that’s perhaps a little harsh. Other keepers not of Ter Stegen’s level may have botched that up.

68 min: The home side make a change. Brandt is replaced Nadiem Amiri, an attacking midfielder with Leverkusen.

67 min: Germany had taken their foot off the gas and paid for complacency there. Acuna had far too much space to amble into before he played that cross in.

Goal! Germany 2-1 Argentina (Alario 65)

Acuna whips another lovely ball in from the left towards Alario, who steps off his marker and heads powerfully into the top corner. That was a simple but high quality goal. Game on!

Argentina’s forward Lucas Alario scores.
Argentina’s forward Lucas Alario scores. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

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64 min: Martinez prods a shot just over after a tantalising cross in from the left. He looks rueful. That was a decent chance.

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61 min: Alario is on for Dybala, who has seen so little of the ball tonight that he’s barely been mentioned. It’s a shame. He’s a busy and inventive pesky menace at his best. Alario is a forward with Leverkusen, so he’s not had to go far to make it to this friendly.

59 min: Argentina seem to have absolutely no idea how to get out of their own half. Whenever their defenders get the ball they have no midfielders on ahead of them. Even after switching to three at the back the extra man further forwards is not making much of a difference.

57 min: Brandt spins on the edge of the box and thumps a shot at goal that skids off the surface and into Marchesin’s firm grasp. Germany are still bossing this.

54 min: Argentina win a corner. Dybala floats it in and Germany clear … and then they break like greyhounds! Brandt finds Havertz inside him, who prods the ball to the onrushing Can. He only has Marchesin to beat, but the keeper sticks out his right boot and prevents Can’s prodded effort at goal making it 3-0. Lovely break, though.

Emre Can shoots under pressure from Roberto Pereyra of Argentina.
Emre Can shoots under pressure from Roberto Pereyra of Argentina. Photograph: Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images

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52 min: There’s not much happening so I’ll hand the mic to Peter Oh. “JR in Illinois inspired me to try my hand at joke-writing. Rojo and Otamendi walk into a bar. The bartender says ‘What the dickens are ya’ doin’ in this here bar?! Yer supposed to be on the pitch defendin’ for Argentina!’” I preferred JR’s joke Peter. Though yours is perhaps more accurate as Rojo may well be in a bar now after that horror show of a first half.

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50 min: It’s easily cleared by Germany, who work their way forwards with a series of crisp passing moves. They’re a joy to watch at times. So economical. So effective.

49 min: “I think for most all of us anywhere south of Chicago and/or west of the Mississippi chances are good that The Fiver is as readable as this stuff,” writes Bill Mathis. Fair enough but I don’t understand The Fiver at times Bill – and I often write it. Maybe that’s the problem. Anyway, Argentina have a corner!

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47 min: Waldschmidt volleys wide from the corner of the box after a corner made it all the way through to him. Slow start to the half, otherwise.

46 min: Acuña is a winger or wing-back so I expect Foyth may be pairing Otamendi at the back now or Argentina have gone to three at the back. They needed to do something to stop the raids down the right.

Peep!

45 min: It’s the second half. There are two changes for the visitors, though. Marcos Acuña is on for one half of Argentina’s comedy duo. Rojo has been hooked but Otamendi is still on. And Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos is on for Angel Correa.

“Tantalizing bit of news that, about Petr Cech playing pro ice hockey,” writes Peter Oh. “I guess all those years of wearing a helmet while stood between the sticks for Chelsea and Arsenal really got to him! Germany look like they’ve iced this game already. For the goals, was the Argentina goaltender beaten on his stick side or the glove side? Don’t tell me let the ball go through the five-hole!” Can anyone translate? This is what it must be like for American readers trying to understand The Fiver.

“I’m wondering what position(s) the wonderfully versatile and increasingly influential Joshua Kimmich is playing in tonight, and how does it compare with his role(s) at Bayern?” asks Phil Grey. He’s playing centre midfield tonight. And he’s doing it brilliantly. He’s their midfield metronome. He’s played mostly at right-back for Bayern Munich this season but he’s one of those players you feel could slot in absolutely anywhere. He really is the new Lahm.

Half-time: Germany 2-0 Argentina

Germany’s next generation look all right. Argentina’s hotch-potch collection of misfits look far from all right. As my colleague, John Brewin, wrote in the first half:

And this from Gary Naylor perhaps rings true:

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44 min: Gnabry volleys a foot wide after Kimmich pinged a beautiful pass to the back post, where the winger was rushing in.

43 min: Germany’s intensity has dipped a little. They’re still playing the most crisp passes of the two sides, though.

40 min: Now it’s Sule who dishes out some rough stuff in the German left-back position. Free-kick. Paredes pulls a clever low ball back across the German defensive line to Rodrigo, who sends a hopeless shot into space.

38 min: Paredes has just raked his boot down the right achilles of Kimmich, who wants another yellow card to be shown. But the referee is having none of it. That was a yellow all day in a competitive match.

36 min: Correa swipes over from 10 yards after another decent Argentina attack. They’re slowly getting back into this. But at any moment, it feels as though German brilliance, or calamitous Argentinian defending, could lead to a third goal for the home side.

35 min: Germany have just flicked and tricked their way out of an Argentina high-press high after being pinned back into their left-back position. It’s a bit too early for that kind of showboating for me.

33 min: What a strike! Another! This time it’s Rodrigo De Paul, though, who drills a right-footer at goal from 25 yards that beats Ter Stegen and thuds into the far post before ending up miles back up the pitch it was hit so hard. That almost got Argentina back into it.

32 min: Halstenburg almost scores a beauty. It’s a left-footer whipped in at the top-right postage stamp that Marchesin maybe gets a fingertip too to deflect it on to the bar.

31 min: Rojo loses possession (again), Gnabry races towards the box and Rodrigo De Paul cynically pulls him down. Yellow card. Free-kick 25 yards out …

29 min: Argentina enjoy some sterile possession before Can decides he’s had enough of watching this and steps in to set up a crisp Germany counter-attack. Sule threads a ball through the Argentina midfield to the busy Brandt, who pops a pass off to Gnabry. He beats his man and sets up Klostermann on the right, but his cross is floated harmlessly out of play at the back post.

27 min: Kimmich clips the ball to the back post, where Sule heads across goal towards the onrushing Brandt, who misses connecting with the cross by a toenail’s length … and then clatters into the near post. Replays show he was perhaps a shoelace offside in any case.

26 min: Otamendi is booked for cynically bringing down Brandt on the edge of the box to bring an end to a flowing Germany move. Free-kick, 25 yards out …

24 min: “I’m working on a joke,” begins JR from Illinois with impeccable timing. “Knock knock. Who’s there? Rojo and Otamendi.

“That’s it. What do you think? I guess it’s kinda mean, isn’t it? But really, they’re not very good. And Rojo was just the one who slid in and missed the ball right before the goal. It was a fantastic goal by Gnabry though. Dude’s on fire.” That second one, though. He’s supposed to be playing at centre-back.

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Goal! Germany 2-0 Argentina (Havertz 22)

Oh dear! Rojo tries to nutmeg someone on the left and gets the ball taken off him. With Rojo completely out of position, Germany race forwards with Gnabry playing a simple square pass into the space where Rojo should be for Havertz to sidefoot powerfully home. This could be ugly.

Kai Havertz of Germany scores his team’s second goal.
Kai Havertz of Germany scores his team’s second goal. Photograph: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

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19 min: Argentina look a little rushed in everything they do. They need some zen in their boots. Rodrigo De Paul is especially jumpy in midfield. He looks like he’s trying too hard to please. Germany are just gradually moving through the gears.

17 min: Germany are suddenly all over Argentina. Brandt tries to square to Gnabry when he should shoot on the edge of the box and then Can wallops a shot at goal that is deflected wide for a corner. Halstenburg gets his head to it but it drops kindly for Marchesin.

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Goal! Germany 1-0 Argentina (Gnabry 15)

Sule pings a ball across to Klostermann on the right. The wing-back takes a lucky touch and then hares to the line and pulls back a low cross to Gnabry on the edge of the six-yard box. He pokes the ball away from the defender sliding in behind him and then pokes past Marchesin to put Germany 1-0 up. So very simple but a good poacher’s goal from the in-form winger.

Serge Gnabry of Germany scores his team’s first goal.
Serge Gnabry of Germany scores his team’s first goal. Photograph: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

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12 min: Rodrigo De Paul has just nutmegged two Germany players on a rampant run forwards. He was eventually muscled out of it by Süle and shouldered to the floor by Halstenberg. The referee’s not keen on this turning into a bad-tempered affair so he calls Kimmich over to have a word.

11 min: Argentina are popping the ball around like Pekerman’s class of 2006. And then crunch! Kimmich clatters into Paredes to bring their rondo session to a grinding halt. He’s booked for his trouble.

9 min: Emre Can clears in the Germany penalty area. It’s a wild clearance that could quite easily be a penalty, given he took as much of the ball as man.

8 min: The Tottenham-slayer, Gnabry, stretches his legs on the right but as he cuts inside he’s faced by Otamendi, who does well to force the winger to knock the ball out of play as he tries to round him.

7 min: “I grew up near Guildford and the highlight for me was my mate Alan buying a trilby from popular 80s menswear establishment Fosters,” writes Steve Hoare. “The lowlight would be getting carried out of nightclub Bojangles by two burly bouncers for no reason I could think of. Meanwhile, why is there an astronaut walking up North Street behind Luis Figo? I don’t remember them hanging in Guildford when I was there.” I’ve no idea. Gentrification?

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6 min: Germany speed things up, playing some neat triangular passes around Argentina on the right but Havertz’s lofted cross into the box is easily plucked out of the air by Marchesin.

4 min: Germany nick the ball off Argentina after some ponderous play at the back by the visitors but they can’t work their way through the compact Argentina midfield. It’s not really got going, to be honest. What’s going on in Guildford?

2 min: It’s a scrappy start, with some sloppy passing from both sides and a couple of crunching tackles as a result.

Peep!

1 min: We’re under way. Germany, in their famous white shirts are kicking from right to left on my screen. Argentina, in their less famous black away kit are going the other way.

There’s a minute’s silence for the two people who were shot and killed near a synagogue in Halle this afternoon.

Players, officials and fans take part in a minutes silence.
Players, officials and fans take part in a minutes silence. Photograph: Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images

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The teams trot out on to the pitch. The national anthems quiver through the air, which means it’s almost time for football.

The Westfalenstadion is filling up nicely. It’s Wednesday night in Dortmund – what else is there to do? There’s a lovely mosaic on the Yellow Wall of a Germany player acrobatically volleying a star. It looks rather splendid.

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Gian Luca-Waldschmidt is making his Germany debut tonight. The Freiburg striker has scored four times in the Bundesliga this season, which is a decent return from seven games. He was red-hot in the summer at the Under-21 Euros. He scored seven goals for Germany as they finished runners-up to Spain. That’s a goal every 64 minutes!

Why does everyone want to go to Guildford? What’s so good about it? If you live there, can you tell me?

Breaking news! Nothing to do with this match but what a signing for Guildford Phoenix. Will we see Manuel Neuer on the ice when he retires?

On the subject of English players having to go to Germany to develop, Neal Butler would like to point me in the direction of Stamford Bridge. “Ahem. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and Fiyako Tomori would presumably beg to differ …” It’s a fair cop, Neal.

Germany’s captain tonight is Joshua Kimmich, a wonderfully versatile and increasingly influential player. Here he is at Oktoberfest in Munich, either getting in the spirit or perhaps learning that he’s going to be captaining Germany against Argentina. He’s the new Philipp Lahm.

Germany
It’s on! Photograph: Gisela Schober/Getty Images

While we wait for kick-off in Dortmund, why not cast your eyes over these youngsters at Premier League clubs. They will probably end up playing in Germany themselves, given that’s the only place young English players seem to flourish these days.

Team news

Germany starting XI: Ter Stegen; Halstenberg, Süle, Koch, Klostermann; Can, Kimmich; Gnabry, Havertz, Brandt; Waldschmidt.

Niklas Stark has caught the lurgee so Halstenberg comes into defence for Germany.

Argentina starting XI: Marchesín; Foyth, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Pereyra, Paredes, De Paul; Correa, L. Martínez, Dybala.

Scaloni named his starting XI yesterday so unless there has been an illness or unfortunate twang among his squad, it should look like the one I’ve published above.

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Preamble

Evening! It’s a meeting of glittering heavyweights in Dortmund. Germany and Argentina have won six World Cups between them. Their current iterations are somewhat in transition, though, and require some rebuilding work if they hope to add to that haul anytime soon. Both nations flopped at the 2018 World Cup and Argentina suffered the deep disappointment of being knocked out of the 2019 Copa América by Brazil in the semi-finals. Germany’s form has been patchy – by their impeccable standards – since Russia, with a disappointing Nations League campaign and in Euro 2020 qualifying they have looked disjointed at times, never more so than in the 4-2 home defeat by the Netherlands last month.

Joachim Löw is trying to fast-track a new generation of younger players into becoming Germany regulars. Players such as Niklas Süle, Serge Gnabry and Julian Brandt are assuming more responsibility after Löw ruthlessly ended the international careers of most of the 2014 World Cup winners, so teething problems are to be expected. With Marc-André ter Stegen starting in place of Manuel Neuer this evening, and Toni Kroos injured, none of the Brazil 2014 alumni will be on show.

Argentina were the runners-up in 2014 and they too are being overhauled by their manager, Lionel Scaloni. His starting XI this evening may look even more experimental than usual given he is without a number of Boca Juniors and River Plate players, who are preparing for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final second leg. On top of that, Lionel Messi is still suspended and Sergio Agüero and Angel Di María have been left out. Nicolas Otamendi will start this evening. Scaloni will be hoping he doesn’t bring his maverick Manchester City form to the occasion. The lesser-spotted Marcos Rojo will play too. He will be the only starter from the Brazil 2014 final.

They have played each other only once since the World Cup final, a Dusseldorf friendly in September 2014. On that occasion Argentina won 4-2. I’m hoping for similar entertainment this evening.

Kick-off: 7.45pm BST, 8.45pm local, 3.45pm Buenos Aires.

My prediction: Germany 3-2 Argentina.

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