Argentina beat Germany 3-1 in friendly | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 15.08.2012
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Argentina beat Germany 3-1 in friendly

Argentina exacted a revenge of sorts over Germany, winning 3-1 in a friendly - thanks in part to an unfortunate own goal. Playing much of the match with only 10 men, Germany answered back just once.

Argentina were keen to take some vengeance for their 4-0 defeat to Germany at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As it turned out, they eased past an undermanned but determined home side in Frankfurt.

The result will do little to ease coach Joachim Löw's frustration with the raft of criticism that has followed the national side's defeat to Italy at Euro 2012. The squad was accused of lacking leadership, being too pampered and failing to sing the national anthem with sufficient vigor.

Although the first half was goalless, it was stirring stuff as both sides tested each other's football mettle.

Marco Reus and Mesut Özil both came close early in the game, but were denied, and Gonzalo Higuain blasted over the net for Argentina.

Then, there was near-disaster for Germany when keeper Robert Zieler was sent off and Lionel Messi stepped up to take the penalty.

However, the substitute goalkeeper, Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marc-André ter Stegen - on for Thomas Müller - proved up to the task, stopping a relatively tame effort from Messi.

Lionel Messi of Argetina misses a penalty during the international friendly match between Germany and Argentina

Messi took the penalty, but it was not to be - thanks to substitute keeper ter Stegen

Germany still had to play with 10 men though, and the gaps started to show. The first goal came courtesy of a German player just before the break, finding its way into the net off Sami Khedira after a corner from Argentina.

Two steps back, one step forward

The defense leaked again on 52 minutes, when Messi produced a textbook left-foot finish from a ball that was squared to him by Higuain. On 73 minutes, the gap got even wider as Di Maria latched onto a sloppy clearance and blasted the ball from long range into the back of the net.

There was a consolation for Germany on 81 minutes when Benedikt Höwedes found a cutback ball to ease a little of the pain and save German blushes. However, it was not to be the home side's night.

"Being outnumbered it was hard for us to turn the game around," said coach Löw.

"The red card put us on a back foot - then came the own goal as well," Löw added. "After that it was hard for us to play against such brilliant players as Messi, Higuain or di Maria. We made a few tactical mistakes, but the players gave everything."

Striker Miroslav Klose was rather less positive. "With ten men it is hard to do anything against the Argentines, but we should not have allowed ourselves to be beaten 3-1."

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