Exacting some semblance of revenge following their shattering extra-time World Cup final loss, Argentina blasted Germany 4-2 in friendly play Wednesday at Espirit Arena in Dusseldorf. With Lionel Messi sitting out, freshly signed Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria orchestrated an exceptional game with one goal and assisting scores for forwards Sergio Aguero and Erik Lamela, as well as defender Federico Fernandez.
Argentine keepers Sergio Romero and Mariano Andujar also combined for 10 saves against a stacked German side that included most of last month’s World Cup crew. Germany bested Argentina back in July’s final in Brazil off Mario Gotze’s goal in the 113th minute to claim its fourth World Cup title and extended La Albiceleste’s drought to 28 years.
The onslaught began in the 20th minute when Di Maria found Aguero charging through the German backline unmarked and sliced a straight cross to the middle of the box for flying right-footed shot and a 1-0 lead.
Lamela following up 20 ticks later with a left-footed shot from the center of the box to the top left corner, again started by Di Maria’s seemingly unstoppable orchestration as Argentina entered the half up 2-0.
Di Maria further damaged the German side with a cross off a set piece targeted to the right side of the post, and substitute keeper Roman Weidenfeller unable to react to Fernandez’s impending header in the 47th.
Three minutes later, Di Maria padded the lead to 4-0 with his lone goal, and Germany’s responses proved too little too late.
Midfielder Andre Schurrle assured the loss wasn’t too embarrassing with his goal in the 58th minute, and World Cup hero Gotze made his presence known in the 78th to cut the lead in half.