Germany and Argentina draw 2-2 at Confed Cup

22nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2005, NUREMBERG - Germany and Argentina both took satisfaction after a 2-2 draw which contained much to please but leaves a lot of questions for both teams with a year to go before the World Cup. Argentina's Jose Pekerman praised an "excellent" second half display from his side, while Germany's Juergen Klinsmann thought the match showed his team was improving tactically - and can be effective even without captain and playmaker Michael Ballack. The evidence of the first half is that Germany on home

22 June 2005

NUREMBERG - Germany and Argentina both took satisfaction after a 2-2 draw which contained much to please but leaves a lot of questions for both teams with a year to go before the World Cup.

Argentina's Jose Pekerman praised an "excellent" second half display from his side, while Germany's Juergen Klinsmann thought the match showed his team was improving tactically - and can be effective even without captain and playmaker Michael Ballack.

The evidence of the first half is that Germany on home soil will be difficult to beat at the 2006 World Cup even if the young players on display here will probably not be ready for the ultimate triumph.

The evidence of the second half is that Argentina even without key players such as Hernan Crespo and Roberto Ayala are, in the words of Klinsmann, "one of the best if not the best in the world".

Germany have eased into the Confederations Cup semi-final at the top of Group A with two wins and a draw, leaving Argentina behind them level on points.

"People would have been surprised if you'd said that at the beginning of the tournament - but not us," said Klinsmann.

Germany played some of their best football of the tournament in the opening spell, with the South Americans unusually tentative.

Then once Argentina eventually got into their stride, after Germany had taken a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute, they looked a different class.

With Juan Riquelme prompting and probing in midfield, the Germans found themselves doing the chasing, and a 74th minute equalizer by Esteban Cambiasso was the natural conclusion to their superiority on the ball.

Klinsmann had nothing but praise for the Argentinians, particularly Riquelme, man-of-the-match and scorer of Argentina's first goal from a direct free-kick, which had come as a quick response to Kevin Kuranyi's 29th minute opener.

"Nearly everything he does is perfect," Klinsman said of the Villareal playmaker. "He hardly makes a mistake. That is something special."

The German coach also took consolation from a brief exchange with Pekerman directly after the match.

"He praised us because he knows we have new players coming in and the development process is in full swing. It's good to get praise from such an exceptional trainer," he said.
For Klinsmann, it was pleasing to see that others filled the breach left by Ballack's absence.

First Bernd Schneider took the central midfield role and the captain's armband, then Torsten Frings filled both jobs in the second half.

Nevertheless the exercise, despite Germany's positive play at times, only went to prove that Ballack can't be replaced.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sebastian Deisler were active on the left and right of midfield, but neither Schneider nor Frings could stamp themselves on the game in the more central positions.

"We know we still have a lot to do and that there is still a bit of conviction and quality missing," Klinsmann conceded.

For Pekermann, Argentina will also need to improve but is "on the right path".

It is hard not to agree with his assessment that Argentina "will have a strong team for the World Cup next year".

DPA

Subject: German news

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