Acuna whips another lovely ball in from the left towards Alario, who steps off his marker and heads powerfully into the top corner. That was a simple but high quality goal. Game on!
82 min:Argentina are looking the more likely team to score. They have finally turned up and look like they give a flying one now. Sloppiness has crept into Germany’s play and they will pay if they don’t sharpen up. Rudy is on for Germany’s second goalscorer, Havertz. Rudy is a Schalke midfielder currently on loan at Hoffenheim.
79 min:With reference to an email on seven minutes, Ben Maiden writes: “Gregg, I lived in Guildford in the late 90s and a definite highlight would be the time I watched Steve Hoare being carried out of Bojangles ‘nite’ club by two bouncers. (He knows what he did.) A lowlight, oddly enough given the Figo photo, was eating a dish prepared by my roommate of the time that he called ‘Astronaut Pie.’ I shudder to recall.” You know a nightclub is moody when it’s called a “nite” club.
77 min:Germany are in danger of doing themselves harm here. From their own free-kick in the right-back position, Can plays a ridiculous cross-field pass that is cut out.Argentinapile forwards and Martinez rifles a right-footed shot just wide.
76 min:Pereyra’s shift is over. Renzo Saravia punches in in his place.
75 min:… and Kimmich thumps a shot at the near post that Marchesin can only punch clear, clumsily.
74 min:Amiri tricks his way through threeArgentinadefenders and Pereyra sticks a foot out to bring him down. Free-kick to Germany on the corner of the box. Kimmich to take it …
72 min:Gnabry, who scored the first goal, is replaced by Suat Serdar, a midfielder with Schalke who is making his debut. This Germany side is gradually looking more experimental andArgentinacan sense a chance to make the most of the disjointedness that has crept into the home side’s play.
70 min:Paredes fizzes a shot at goal that Ter Stegen plucks from the air. They’re calling it a TV save on Sky. It dipped a little as it came to him so that’s perhaps a little harsh. Other keepers not of Ter Stegen’s level may have botched that up.
68 min:The home side make a change. Brandt is replaced Nadiem Amiri, an attacking midfielder with Leverkusen.
67 min:Germanyhad taken their foot off the gas and paid for complacency there. Acuna had far too much space to amble into before he played that cross in.
Goal! Germany 2-1 Argentina (Alario 65)
64 min:Martinez prods a shot just over after a tantalising cross in from the left. He looks rueful. That was a decent chance.
61 min:Alario is on for Dybala, who has seen so little of the ball tonight that he’s barely been mentioned. It’s a shame. He’s a busy and inventive pesky menace at his best. Alario is a forward with Leverkusen, so he’s not had to go far to make it to this friendly.
59 min:Argentina seem to have absolutely no idea how to get out of their own half. Whenever their defenders get the ball they have no midfielders on ahead of them. Even after switching to three at the back the extra man further forwards is not making much of a difference.
57 min:Brandt spins on the edge of the box and thumps a shot at goal that skids off the surface and into Marchesin’s firm grasp.Germanyare still bossing this.
54 min:Argentina win a corner. Dybala floats it in andGermanyclear … and then they break like greyhounds! Brandt finds Havertz inside him, who prods the ball to the onrushing Can. He only has Marchesin to beat, but the keeper sticks out his right boot and prevents Can’s prodded effort at goal making it 3-0. Lovely break, though.
52 min:There’s not much happening so I’ll hand the mic to Pter Oh. “JR in Illinois inspired me to try my hand at joke-writing. Rojo and Otamendi walk into a bar. The bartender says ‘What the dickens are ya’ doin’ in this here bar?! Yer supposed to be on the pitch defendin’ for Argentina!’” I preferred JR’s joke Peter. Though yours is perhaps more accurate as Rojo may well be in a bar now after that horror show of a first half.
50 min:It’s easily cleared byGermany, who work their way forwards with a series of crisp passing moves. They’re a joy to watch at times. So economical. So effective.
49 min:“I think for most all of us anywhere south of Chicago and/or west of the Mississippi chances are good that The Fiver is as readable as this stuff,” writes Bill Mathis. Fair enough but I don’t understand The Fiver at times Bill – and I often write it. Maybe that’s the problem. Anyway,Argentinahave a corner!
47 min:Waldschmidt volleys wide from the corner of the box after a corner made it all the way through to him. Slow start to the half, otherwise.
46 min:Acuña is a winger or wing-back so I expect Foyth may be pairing Otamendi at the back now orArgentinahave gone to three at the back. They needed to do something to stop the raids down the right.
45 min:It’s the second half. There are two changes for the visitors, though. Marcos Acuña is on for one half of Argentina’s comedy duo. Rojo has been hooked but Otamendi is still on. And Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos is on for Angel Correa.
“Tantalizing bit of news that, about Petr Cech playing pro ice hockey,”writes Peter Oh. “I guess all those years of wearing a helmet while stood between the sticks for Chelsea and Arsenal really got to him! Germany look like they’ve iced this game already. For the goals, was theArgentinagoaltender beaten on his stick side or the glove side? Don’t tell me let the ball go through the five-hole!” Can anyone translate? This is what it must be like for American readers trying to understand The Fiver.
“I’m wondering what position(s) the wonderfully versatile and increasingly influential Joshua Kimmich is playing in tonight, and how does it compare with his role(s) at Bayern?”asks Phil Grey. He’s playing centre midfield tonight. And he’s doing it brilliantly. He’s their midfield metronome. He’s played mostly at right-back for Bayern Munich this season but he’s one of those players you feel could slot in absolutely anywhere. He really is the new Lahm.
Half-time: Germany 2-0 Argentina
Germany’s next generation look all right. Argentina’s hotch-potch collection of misfits look far from all right. As my colleague, John Brewin, wrote in the first half:
And this from Gary Naylor perhaps rings true:
44 min:Gnabry volleys a foot wide after Kimmich pinged a beautiful pass to the back post, where the winger was rushing in.
43 min:Germany’s intensity has dipped a little. They’re still playing the most crisp passes of the two sides, though.
40 min:Now it’s Sule who dishes out some rough stuff in the German left-back position. Free-kick. Paredes pulls a clever low ball back across the German defensive line to Rodrigo, who sends a hopeless shot into space.
38 min:Paredes has just raked his boot down the right achilles of Kimmich, who wants another yellow card to be shown. But the referee is having none of it. That was a yellow all day in a competitive match.
36 min:Correa swipes over from 10 yards after another decentArgentinaattack. They’re slowly getting back into this. But at any moment, it feels as though German brilliance, or calamitous Argentinian defending, could lead to a third goal for the home side.
35 min:Germany have just flicked and tricked their way out of anArgentinahigh-press high after being pinned back into their left-back position. It’s a bit too early for that kind of showboating for me.