Diego Maradona's Argentina completely outshone Germany on Wednesday, leaving the home side, which had looked impressive in its European zone qualifiers for the World Cup, back at square one.
_Argentina were very solid and extremely confident on the ball_ said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
_They were very dangerous when they came forward._
Argentina who looked by far the more dangerous of the two sides, led by Messi and youth sensation Angel di Maria, who dribbled his way past a sea of German defenders to fire off the first big chance, which deflected off the keepers outstretched hand and went crashing into the crossbar.
Then just before the break, the overextended Germans were caught out tactically when Angel di Maria found Gonzalo Higuain up front with the latter calmly rounding the keeper and netting the open goal.
Germany's best chances came in the second half though their Brazilian import Cacau with shots in the 77th and 83rd minutes and several trade mark Brazilian runs which handed the Argentinians their only real discomfort of the match and had Maradona screaming his name on the sidelines.
_Our mistake was not to take more risks up front_ said Germany captain Michael Bollack, sporting a black eye from Chelsea's recent UEFA Champions League defeat to Inter Milan.
_What we showed is that we have a team who can become world champions for the first time after 24 years_said the legendary Maradona who had suffered great criticism for Argentina's difficulties in qualifying for the World Cup in the highly competitive South American qualifiers.
Lionel Messi, despite not putting in one of his best performances, was still a constant danger to the Germany defence while Juan Sebastian Veron dominated the centre of midfield with Javier Mascherano.
_I thank God that Messi is Argentinian_ added Maradona. _And I will thank God if he can make us world champions again_.
_That is what we will go to South Africa to do .. become world champions_
Argentina is drawn against Nigeria, Korea Republic and Greece in the FIFA World Cup. Germany will face Ghana, Serbia and Australia.
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