Lucas Ocampos, Argentina Erase 2-0 Deficit to Earn Draw vs. Germany in Friendly

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2019

Germany's Serge Gnabry, left, takes a shot at goal next to Argentina's Nicolas Tagliafico during the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Germany and Argentina drew 2-2 on Wednesday in an international friendly in Dortmund, Germany.

The home side dominated the first half and took a 15th-minute lead through Bayern Munich striker Serge Gnabry.

Kai Havertz doubled the lead after 22 minutes when the Bayer Leverkusen starlet linked with Gnabry for a simple finish.

Substitute Lucas Alario pulled one back for the away side, heading home on 66 minutes to entice Argentina back into the game.

Lucas Ocampos completed the comeback for La Albiceleste with five minutes remaining, and the visitors almost grabbed a late winner at the death.

Joachim Low gave debuts to Freiburg duo Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt, and regular No. 1 Manuel Neuer made way for Barcelona stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala patrolled the attack for Argentina, with Lionel Messi missing because of suspension.

Germany were in the ascendancy from the early stages at the Signal Iduna Park, and the visitors could not respond against the opposition forwards.

Gnabry was the star of the first half, slotting home the opener and assisting his country's second, and the Argentinians did not appear to have the appetite to defend.

The Bayern forward became the quickest to score 10 goals for Germany, overtaking Miroslav Klose's record.

Havertz tapped home from close range when Gnabry's cross found him unmarked in the centre of the goal, and it seemed Low's side would gain an emphatic win.

However, the hosts took their foot off the accelerator after half-time, and the South Americans improved their passing and movement.

Germany looked fatigued and lost momentum, and when Alario arrived as a 62nd-minute sub for Dybala, the Argentinians were hunting for a way back into the encounter. Alario made it 2-1 four minutes after coming on, and Marcos Acuna's cross was flicked home by the Leverkusen player.

Germany's young stars were rattled, and the mistakes and errors stacked up before Sevilla winger Ocampos' deflected shot brought a deserved equaliser.

The quality moments had come from Germany, but a drop in concentration in the second half opened the door for Argentina.

The away team were piling forward in the closing stages, and there was no surprise when Ocampos' deflected effort hit the back of the net.

Argentina continued to dominate in the last minutes, searching for a shock winner, but Germany hung on for the draw.

Low will have been pleased with his team before half-time, but naivety and lack of potency almost cost them dearly towards the end of the game.

Germany's technical superiority was evident, but Argentina showed heart to fight their way back into a contest that appeared lost.

                                                                              

What's Next

Both nations are back in action on Sunday. Germany travel to Estonia for a 2020 European Championship qualifier, and Argentina play Ecuador in an international friendly.

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