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Second half substitutes give Argentina share of the spoils

Pin Alario (C) played a vital role in getting Argentina a draw against Germany in Dortmund. AFP
Alario (C) played a vital role in getting Argentina a draw against Germany in Dortmund. AFP

Second half substitutes give Argentina share of the spoils

Paul Singh by Paul Singh @besoccer_com - 0 4,425

Goals from Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos gave Argentina a 2-2 draw against Germany at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund in an international friendly. It was a great fightback after Germany were cruising thanks to goals from Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz.

Argentina salvaged a draw from their friendly with Germany in an entertaining 2-2 draw thanks to two strikes in the last 25 minutes. Germany were leading in Dortmund and were comfortable before Alario and Ocampos did the damage.

Germany were by far the better side in the first half, but Argentina had the first chance of the game when Lautaro Martinez headed Pereyra's cross goalwards and Emre Can made a vital block with his foot just nine minutes in. The home side then took control and Marchesin was called into action to deny Brandt after three quick passes before Gnabry opened the scoring seconds later after 15 minutes. Klostermann received Sule's cross field ball after an error by Correa, he then cut back as he was reaching the byline for Gnabry to finish after getting a bit of good fortune.

Argentina's sloppiness in defence continued and were nearly punished two minutes later. However, in the 22nd minute, they were not so fortunate and Kai Havertz made it two on the counter. Rojo made a dreadful error on the far touchline, Klostermann picked up the loose ball and then Gnabry fed Havertz who tapped in. There were alarming signs in Argentina's rearguard constantly and it nearly got worse for them nine minutes later when Halstenberg's free-kick cannoned off the crossbar.

That seemed to spark Argentina into action and Rodrigo de Paul struck a post from 25 yards at the other end before Correa volleyed over a Pereyra cross. Scaloni's men began to enjoy a good spell of possession and territory and continued to threaten. De Paul hit a rugby conversation over the bar from Paredes' set piece in the 40th minute before the half ended when Germany's Gnabry struck an effort wide of the far post

Germany deservedly led 2-0 at the break and that forced Argentina into a double switch. Rojo and Correa were replaced bny Acuna and Ocampos and both would end up being decisive in the final result. That said, the first fifteen minutes of the second half once again belonged to Germany. Kimmich found the sidenetting two minutes in and then Emre Can received a square ball from Havertz, but his weak effort was saved by Marchesin.

Things changed though when Alario replaced Dybala in the 62nd minute. Lautaro hit wide of the goal two minutes later after being pressed by Sule and then in the 66th minute, Argentina halved the deficit. They had a long possession and then two subs in Acuna and Alario combined. Acuna crossed from this near side and Alario directed his header past Ter Stegen from basically where the penalty spot is.

That goal lifted Argentina and Ter Stegen had to make a fine save to deny Paredes 20 minutes from time after Pereyra had won the ball back for them. Kimmich forced Marchesin to punch away a free-kick, but that was a rare sighting at goal for them. Alario caused havoc for Germany and his shot was deflected wide after Foyth's cross broke to him after a miscontrol by Saravia. Just one minute later Lautaro gave Alario the ball inside the area and Halstenberg blocked his shot.

Germany were hanging on for dear life and that showed when pinball ensued nine minutes from time. Alario, Ocampos and Lautaro all tried to score, but Germany scrambled clear. Four minutes later, they were not so lucky though as Ocampos levelled it up. Germany made a terrible error at the back, Alario ran into the area, but could not find a way through so he laid it off to Ocampos. The Sevilla man's curling shot took a nick off Can and left Ter Stegen with no chance. 

Ocampos even had one opportunity to win it, but his pass across the face of goal was unable to find a teammate and the game ended all square. It was a fair result as Germany were in control for about 55 minutes before Argentina showed tremendous fighting spirit to make it 2-2. Their subs were excellent and they will go home the happier. Germany will be disappointed to throw away the lead and both teams have to work on their defending ahead of important qualifiers ahead.

Paul Singh

Paul Singh

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