SWC 'revenge' for Argentina

2014-09-04 07:25
Angel di Maria (AFP)

Duesseldorf - A brilliant performance from Angel di Maria spurred Argentina to a crushing 4-2 international friendly win over world champions Germany on Wednesday in an entertaining rematch of July's World Cup final.

Despite the absence of injured captain Lionel Messi, Argentina ran circles around the World Cup winners on their home turf in the first match for both teams since Germany's 1-0 extra-time victory in the final in Brazil.

Germany coach Joachim Loew put only four of the starting 11 that won Germany's fourth World Cup on the pitch in the warm-up match for Germany's Euro 2016 campaign that starts on Sunday against Scotland.

Captain Philipp Lahm, striker Miroslov Klose and defender Per Mertesacker, who all retired following the World Cup triumph, were hailed by the sell-out crowd of 51,132 while several other key players were missing through injury.

The inexperienced Germany defence could not contain new Manchester United signing Di Maria in the first half.

He set up the first goal in the 21st minute with a pinpoint lob to the penalty spot where Sergio Aguero slipped away from his marker and beat Manuel Neuer with an unstoppable volley from point-blank range.

Nineteen minutes later Di Maria broke free on the right near the touch line when he lofted a soft cross back to Erik Lamela, who smashed a volley past a frustrated-looking Neuer. Federico Fernandez made it 3-0 two minutes after the intermission before di Maria scored a superb lob to make it 4-0 in the 50th minute.

Andre Schuerrle got one back for Germany in the 52nd minute, tapping in after a scramble in front of Sergio Romero's goal and World Cup hero Mario Goetze made it 4-2 in the 78th minute.


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