This classic matchup between two great sides lived up to the billing with plenty of excitement and a few goals, too. Though Argentina dominated the possession stats in the first-half, Germany were the more dangerous side going forward and took a 2-0 lead into the break following goals from Serge Gnabry (15’) and Kai Havertz (22’). The second half belonged to Argentina, though, and after Leverkusen’s Lucas Alario made it 2-1 (66’), Lucas Ocampos found a late equaliser (85’).
Germany had to be content to press Argentina in the early stages of the game, as the guests played the ball around and kept possession without particularly threatening Marc André ter Stegen in goal. Captain Kimmich was booked early on for a heavy tackle on Marcos Rojo (11’). The first big chance of the game fell to Germany but Brandt failed to beat the keeper from a tight angle (14’). Another Germany attack just two minutes later led to the breakthrough. Klostermann burst down the right wing and put a hopeful ball into the box, which the Argentina defence failed to clear. Serge Gnabry pounced to poke the ball past Marchesín (15’) and become the fastest Germany player to reach ten goals, doing so in his 11th game. The team’s danger on the counter was telling and it didn’t take long for a second goal to follow. Klostermann and Gnabry were involved again as the right-back kicked off a quick break before unleashing Gnabry, who set up Havertz to score his first goal in a Germany shirt (22’). Marcel Halstenberg almost added a third in spectacular style as his long-range free kick struck the bar (30’). Next, it was Argentina’s turn to hit the woodwork as Rodrigo de Paul’s effort thudded off the post (33’). Gnabry could have had a second just before half time but his shot flashed just wide of the post (45’).
Germany started the second half quite brightly and both debutant Luca Waldschmidt (47’) and Emre Can (55’) had chances to put the game out of sight. Argentina then made a substitution that changed the game. Paulo Dybala was replaced in the 62nd minute by Lucas Alario and his impact was almost immediate. The Leverkusen man found himself unmarked in the box and headed home Acuña’s whipped cross (66’). Nadiem Amiri replaced Julian Brandt directly after the goal to make his debut. Ter Stegen denied Leandro Parades’ effort from distance to stop Argentina equalising soon after (70’). Another debutant then entered the game as Gnabry made way for Suat Serdar. Argentina started to dominate the play as they pushed for an equaliser, which they eventually found courtesy of a deflected shot from Ocampos after a nice run and assist by Alario. Thus, the contest between the two 2014 World Cup finalists ended all square at 2-2.