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Set on their way by a Sami Khedira own goal, Argentina eased to a 3-1 victory against ten-man Germany courtesy of second-half strikes from Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María.
Two experienced sides took to the pitch in Frankfurt, yet it was young goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler who changed the course of the game. His foul and red card gave Argentina a 32nd-minute penalty and although Messi was thwarted, he made amends, scoring in between Khedira's first-half own goal and Di María's effort. Benedikt Höwedes added a late consolation with his first international goal.
Both teams started with intent, trading blows. It was Germany who were landing marginally more of them, and Mesut Özil passed up the first clear-cut chance when Miroslav Klose swept a clever ball into his path. One-on-one with Sergio Romero, he fired straight at the goalkeeper. Argentina were swift to regain their composure, Di María's inviting centre deflecting agonisingly wide.
The visitors tightened their grip on proceedings when livewire José Ernesto Sosa, latching on to Javier Mascherano's delicious through ball, earned a penalty after being fouled by Zieler. The goalkeeper was sent off but substitute Marc-André ter Stegen lifted spirits by reading Messi's intentions from the spot. Argentina were not to be denied, though, Kheidra slicing Di María near-post corner into his own net moments before half-time.
Germany emerged after the break with renewed purpose and were almost rewarded when Marco Reus's speculative effort cannoned back off a post. Joachim Löw's side were soon lamenting their misfortune, Messi curling in a left-footed finish following Gonzalo Higuaín's neat pass. Di María made it three with a thumping effort 17 minutes from time, before Höwedes conjured up a consolation.
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