|May 10th 2005
Buenos Aires, Estadio Monumental
|GERMANY - ARGENTINA
GOALS 38' 0-1 Alfredo Di Stefano
45' 1-1 Gerd Müller
68' 1-2 Diego Armando Maradona
REFEREE George Reader (England)
YELLOW CARDS Förster, Matthäus (GER)
Passarella, Monti, Batistuta (ARG)
GERMANY (Coach: Helmut Schön, system 4-4-2)
1 Sepp Maier
2 Berti Vogts
4 Karl-Heinz Förster (-51)
19 Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (-80)
3 Andreas Brehme
8 Lothar Matthäus
6 Fritz Walter (-46)
5 Franz Beckenbauer (captain)
12 Wolfgang Overath
11 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
13 Gerd Müller
7 Günter Netzer (+46)
17 Jürgen Kohler (+51)
20 Helmut Rahn (+80)
ARGENTINA (Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti, system 4-4-2)
1 Ubaldo Matildo Fillol
2 Javier Adelmar Zanetti
5 Oscar Alfredo Ruggeri
6 Daniel Alberto Passarella (captain)
3 Silvio Marzolini
7 Jorge Luis Burruchaga
9 Osvaldo Carlos Ardiles (-71)
4 Luis Felipe Monti
10 Diego Armando Maradona
9 Alfredo Di Stefano (-87)
15 Gabriel Omar Batistuta (-77)
21 Antonio Ubaldo Rattin (+71)
19 José Manuel Moreno (+77)
11 Angel Amadeo Labruna (+87)
On first sight Germany-Argentina seemed to be a match to be played just for
fun. Both teams had already qualified for the next stage. But there was
more. The winner in this group would meet Sweden in the round of last 16,
the runner up would have to play mighty England. It was evident what was
preferred by both teams. And therefore both wanted to finish first at any
price, and this became a hardfought match. Germany would need a draw,
Argentina needed to win.
Menotti again trusted the combination Batistuta/Di Stefano up front, Moreno
was denied once more and so was Kempes. Germany surprisingly had Beckenbauer
in midfield this time to fight the magnificent line Argentina had there with
battling Ardiles and Monti, offensive Burruchaga and of course the brilliant
Maradona. Schnellinger stood in in defence. Rummenigge and Müller were the
two strikers, Schön had dropped one indeed to strengthen his midfield.
Argentina, supported by a fanatical crowd, put Germany under pressure in
their own Estadio Momumental where they had won the title back in 1978.
Maier had to save a blasting cracker from Monti and moments later had
to risk his life when Maradona outplayed two defenders and appeared right in
front of him. The German goalkeeper could keep a clean sheet at that time.
After more than 15 minutes Germany for the first time seriously crossed the
midfield line. But Ruggeri and Passarella kept Müller at bay and Rummenigge
was nowhere in sight.
In the meantime referee George Reader had lots of work to do to keep
everything in hand. Especially Maradona was fouled numerous times. First
Förster received the yellow card, later it was Lothar Matthäus' turn.
Argentine captain Daniel Passarella had already been booked before for a
drastic foul on Beckenbauer who had threatened to break through. Passarella
was lucky to escape without being sent off. After the break Monti and
Batistuta made it a handful cautioned. In the second part of the first half
the game was more balanced. Burruchaga had a free chance, Maier saved again,
and Müller had an effort that went just wide.
Then, suddenly, the goal after 38 minutes. And it was Argentina that scored.
Burruchaga put Walter on the wrong foot and fired at Maier. The goalie this
time couldn't hold on and Di Stefano tapped in 1-0. A deserved lead, all
in all Argentina had shown more initiative than Germany. But the Germans
wouldn't be Germans if they were not going to come back. Beckenbauer steamed
through the middle and tested the post next to Fillol. Müller, who else, was
at the right time in the right place: 1-1.
Schön took Walter off and tried to bring in fresh ideas with the inclusion
of Günter Netzer. It wasn't his only substitution early in the second half.
Karl-Heinz Förster sustained a nose-injury and had to withdraw in favour of
Kohler. A big difference between both teams was the role of the sweeper.
Schnellinger never supported midfield, where Passarella was constantly
underway to defend ánd attack. He also appeared in front of the German goal
every now and then, and almost had success with a powerful header that fell
on top of the goal. The same Passarella on the other end blocked a shot from
distance from Matthäus, that would have caused serious problems for Fillol.
It had been Germany's best chance until then. Matthäus was released by
Netzer, turned away from Ruggeri but with Fillol in sight saw suddenly
Passarella in his way.
Halfway through the second half Argentina again took the lead. Maradona got
the ball from Ardiles, held off Beckenbauer's challenge and beat Maier with
a magic shot from 20 metres out: 2-1. It was the sign for Menotti to include
more defensive security. He took off Ardiles and put Rattin in the team.
Argentina remained the better team, but they had to be careful for German
attacks. Certainly in the latter part of the match, when Helmut Rahn had
come in for Schnellinger - Beckenbauer went back in defence - Germany came
through dangerously a couple of times. But Passarella and his men controlled
Müller and Rummenigge as well as they had done throughout the match and real
chances wouldn't come for Germany. Matthäus came relatively close but his
shot was tipped away by Fillol.
Argentina won the Battle of the Giants 2-1 and won the group. They now would
play Sweden, a nasty opponent strong in defence and dangerous in the
counterattack. Germany travelled to Rome for the game with England, an
encounter with much expectation and a rematch of great matches such as the
final in 1966 the quarter final of 1970 and the semi final of 1990. Both
Argentina and Germany had shown something of their potential, but the idea
remained that there was more to come. They left it for later, when the
pressure would be even bigger.
Next Friday the first match in the round of last 16. In Berne Spain and
Uruguay meet. Spain will be without influential captain Camacho who is
suspended, and goalkeeper Zamora is battling to get fit from a handinjury.
Uruguay have everyone on deck. A pregnant question is whether coach Lopez
will included Petrone or Miguez as centre forward. Petrone is his first
choice but Miguez scored twice against Korea. Referee Ivan Eklind will lead
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