Germany vs Argentina Open Thread

by Kieran Healy on June 29, 2006

On present form it’d be hard to justify a bet against Argentina, but Germany have home advantage and are … well … Germany.

I should get a job as a pundit or something. Anyway, have at it.

_Update_: Penalties.

_Update_: Looks like “Kai was right.”:

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NuT » German vs. Argentina Open Thread
06.30.06 at 2:05 am



boos 06.29.06 at 9:48 pm

i’m just hoping for germany, italy, france and england to win. then we’ll be guaranteed an axis vs. allies final!


alejo 06.29.06 at 9:49 pm

A friend of mine who knows and loves the game, says it depends on Argentina’s coach Pekerman.
If he is bold and goes with all his power and atttacks with 3 or more players it will win.
If not the Germans efficiency will crush him.

I personally think the germans have been more consistent and regular, after Mexico, Argentina has a lot or morale-recovering to do.
I would also bet for the Germans though I don’t particulary like their style.


Kai von Fintel 06.29.06 at 10:30 pm

“Football is a simple game — you play for 120 minutes and then the Germans win on penalties.” (Gary Lineker)

Actually, I think this one will be decided before penalty kicks. But it’s a real toss-up, I think. If the Argentina of the game against Serbia shows up and in particular, if they start at least one of Messi or Tevez, they’ll be hard to beat. If the Argentina of the game against Mexico shows up, they’ll be beat. Germany has been more consistent during the tournament.

I find it interesting that fans of both teams dread the other team.


Aidan Maconachy 06.29.06 at 10:49 pm

Funny to recall that in the run-up to the tournament everyone was discounting Deutschland. The general view seemed to be that the squad was too young and inexperienced. Even German insiders were singing the blues. Given current developments, this seems more like tactical understatement in advance of showing their cards, because Deutschland is proving to be a formidable powerhouse.

Juergen Klinsmann is a good guy to have in coach’s corner. He knows the Argies well. He was a member of the German squad that beat Argentina in the 1990 final of the World Cup. What I like most about Klinsmann’s style is his emphasis on flair up front – quite a difference from the more pedestrian style of the former juggernaut squads.

The overall stat history favors Argentina by a slight margin; of twelve games played, they have won seven.

This won’t be a slam dunk for Germany though, Crespo and Saviola will test the German defense with greater rigor than has been the case to date.

Hard one to call. Really hard. I tend toward Deutschland by a small margin. They are young and pumped … have skill and depth … not to mention an entire nation behind them, driving the adrenalin levels through the roof.

Shaping up to be a great one. Can’t wait!


foolishmortal 06.29.06 at 11:24 pm

Hard one to call? Hardly.

No doubt, Germany have a shot, but does noone recall the German defense vs. Costa Rica? Or how hard they found it to score vs. Poland?

Lahm is a good left back, to be sure, but he is defensively suspect, and Arne Freidrich is not good enough full stop. This leaves Germany vulnerable on the flanks. Schweinsteiger and Scheider will be pulled back, allowing Sorin and Cufre (or Burdisso) to play the ball in to Riquelme, or Crespo, or Tevez or etc..

Germany have looked good, but they are most definitely the underdogs here. Argentina have a solid back line,mascherano will cut out midfield runs (though he could be overpowered by Ballack), and their attack could only be rivalled by Brazil.

If Germany are to win this, they will do it through a combination of physical play and tactical acumen, still relying on Argentina making tactical mistakes. Not impossible, but still unlikely.


Guy 06.30.06 at 12:25 am

Argentina and Spain were previously my picks for the tournament, but after watching Spain struggle against France, and Argentina struggle against Mexico, I think the European countries are looking a bit better overall. Brazil have been quite good in attack but lightweight in defense.

I’ve put some money on Germany – we’ll see how it goes.


a 06.30.06 at 2:20 am

It’s the gang of usual suspects (Arg, Brz, Eng, Fr, Ger, and It). Only Uruguay, a fluke of the past in any case, is missing from the list of World Cup winners. The other two (Ukraine and Portugal) are invited to the ball only because a symmetrical elimination tournament requires 8 teams at this point.


fadzilah 06.30.06 at 2:21 am

I thought Argentina was the strongest team this World Cup until the match against Mexico. Perhaps that match was an anomaly. Or rather I’d like to think that.

German supporters would definitely buoy up the German morale by several notches during this classic battle.


stostosto 06.30.06 at 2:30 am

“It’s the gang of usual suspects (Arg, Brz, Eng, Fr, Ger, and It). “

Ha! Spot the odd one out!


Alejandro 06.30.06 at 4:18 am

I’m not sure who wins today -heart hopes Argentina, head fears Germany. But I am pretty sure of this: the winner of this match will go on to win the World Cup. The other teams are all one step lower. This is the true final.


Chris Williams 06.30.06 at 4:35 am

Usually I think of ‘Germany vs Argentina’ as a convenient shorthand for ‘Entente vs Central Powers’ or ‘Galloway vs King’ – why can’t they both lose? On the other hand, both teams have been playing half-decent football recently, which is more than can be said for England. Tricky.


Eamonn Fitzgerald 06.30.06 at 6:05 am

At the beginning of the week, with the memory of the Mexico-Argentina game in mind, I was sure that Germany would ride the wave of national euphoria past the gauchos and into the semi-finals. But two things have happened since that has the nation rattled. Bruno, the first wild bear seen in Germany for 170 years, was shot dead by hunters in the Bavarian Alps (, prompting a public outcry, and then came this morning’s bombshell: Tour de France favourite Jan Ullrich was suspended after being named in a blood doping scandal ( These are ominous signs and they suggest that the tide has turned against Germany. Funny old game, football.


Dave F 06.30.06 at 7:04 am

It’s that stage of the tournament where fear rules. So I reckon penalties, in which case Germany wins.


mykej 06.30.06 at 7:56 am

It’s only two hours until game time. Can we start bad mouthing the ref yet? Whine early, whine often.


DC 06.30.06 at 8:55 am

Fascinating clash of styles. Germany have been easily the best team in terms talent/performance ratio.

2-1 Argies, winner 15 minutes to go. (Obviously if the Germans equalise within those last 15 minutes they win on pens.)


Zaoem 06.30.06 at 10:56 am

Stalemate so far. Argentina look stronger but have not been able to break down the German defense. The ref


Zaoem 06.30.06 at 10:57 am

Stalemate so far. Argentina look stronger but have not been able to break down the German defense. The ref has been excellent so far: He easily could have handed out 4 yellows in the first 10 minutes but restrained himself.


Kieran Healy 06.30.06 at 11:08 am

1-0 Argentina … let’s see if Germany can regroup.


Kieran Healy 06.30.06 at 11:39 am

Yep. 1-1.


Dylan 06.30.06 at 12:03 pm

Why is Dominique Villepin coaching Argentina? I guess even the PM only works 35 hours and has time on his hands for other pursuits.


Wax Banks 06.30.06 at 12:06 pm

Apparently a football match broke out in the middle of an Argentinian theatrical performance of some kind.

I never thought I’d cheer for Germany but there it is.


Down and Out in Sài Gòn 06.30.06 at 12:44 pm

Germany 4-2 Argentina. What was the fight about afterwards?


Zaoem 06.30.06 at 12:59 pm

Argentina was the better team but then made a classic mistake: if you are up 1-0 against the Germans, you have to try and score the 2nd, because they will score on you if you lean back. Incomprehensible that Messi was not out there at some point.


P O'Neill 06.30.06 at 1:42 pm

Kai gets the award for having cited the prescient comment.


Kai von Fintel 06.30.06 at 1:58 pm

I humbly accept the reward and I am thrilled with the game. It deserved to have been the final.


pp 06.30.06 at 2:02 pm

okay kai how about the ita v uka match. I’ll throw out a guess of 2-1 Ita with at least one goal coming on a questionable penalty shot after the 75th minute….


teppof 06.30.06 at 2:06 pm

Wow – Italy really has a cake-walk into the semis – goal in the sixth minute v. Ukraine.


Ken Houghton 06.30.06 at 2:16 pm

What zaOEM Said. Especially if you have to use you backup goaltender, where is your most dangerous scorer? Stuck on the bench, your last substitution made less than two minutes before the tying goal…


pp 06.30.06 at 3:40 pm

okay, my prediction is officially wrong but although a lopsided score this was a fun match to watch. ukraine had a real flurry of good chances that just didn’t get converted. Good pace, good officiating as well, and two real injuries. the italian guy getting hit in the jewels was classic.


Randy Paul 06.30.06 at 6:43 pm

I thought Argentina was the strongest team this World Cup until the match against Mexico. Perhaps that match was an anomaly. Or rather I’d like to think that.

Boy do I disagree with that. Take out the Serbia & Montenegro game and Argentina had a modest goal differential of +2 going into this game. S & M, by the way, by my count finish 32nd in this WC: 0 points and a goal differential of -8.


Elohite 07.01.06 at 1:33 am

boos: “i’m just hoping for germany, italy, france and england to win. then we’ll be guaranteed an axis vs. allies final!”

Brazil fought in World War 2 on the side of the Allies, they sent an Expeditionary Force to Europe which fought up through Italy and France

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