Football: Crespo leaves it late to deny Germany with exquisite chip

Germany 2 Frings pen 28, Kuranyi 45 Argentina 2 Crespo pen 40, 81 Half-time: 2-1 Att: 52,000

CHELSEA FANS had only fleeting opportunities to appreciate Hernan Crespo's eye for goal, but the striker treated the LTU Arena crowd to one of his specials here last night. The 29-year-old striker, who has been in excellent form during his season's loan to Milan, scored a brilliant late equaliser to ensure both sides could take much satisfaction from this high-quality friendly international.

Crespo also converted from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw and has now scored an impressive 25 goals in 47 appearances for his country.

Both countries are rebuilding under new management and this was an important match for both, but particularly for Germany. With no competitive matches to play before they host the World Cup next year, Jurgen Klinsmann has decided to use a series of high-profile friendlies to experiment with a number of younger players. Although this has meant senior men like Liverpool's Dietmar Hamann taking a break from international football, it has undoubtedly given a sharp edge to Germany's friendly fixtures.

Argentina came here with a squad composed entirely of European-based players other than Roberto Abbondanzieri, the goalkeeper, but in the opening 15 minutes they played as if they had just got off a transatlantic flight. Germany dominated the opening period and created three excellent chances in the first quarter of an hour. Torsten Frings crashed a spectacular volley past a post from 25 yards, Bernd Schneider missed the target with a glancing header and Gerald Asamoah forced Abbondanzieri to make a smart save at the near post after combining well with Kevin Kuranyi and Schneider.

Argentina slowly worked their way back into the game and Javier Saviola gave a warning of dangers to come when he made a surging run down the right. It took a despairing tackle by Christian Worns and a bold save by Arsenal's Jens Lehmann to keep the ball out.

It was Germany, however, who drew first blood, taking the lead after 26 minutes when Nicolas Burdisso needlessly conceded a penalty when he wrapped his arms around Kuranyi. Frings made no mistake from the penalty spot. Thirteen minutes later, Argentina levelled via the same route. Saviola ended another fine run with a cross to the far post, where Crespo shaped to shoot only to be brought down by Paul Freier. The Milan striker, making his first appearance for his country for eight months, converted the penalty.

By now both teams were putting together some slick passing moves and just before the interval Germany went in front again after opening up the South American defence. Bastian Schweinsteiger found Kuranyi in space on the right of the penalty area and the Vfb Stuttgart striker, who is thriving under the Klinsmann regime, slid the ball under Abbondanzieri to take his tally to 12 goals in 21 internationals.

Germany continued to have the better of things in the second half and came close to extending their lead several times. Abbondanzieri made several excellent stops, none better than a flying save to keep out a Per Mertesacker piledriver.

Argentina's best attacking work came on the break and it was against the run of play that they equalised with Crespo's superb goal 10 minutes from time. Finding space behind the left flank of Germany's defence, Crespo spotted Lehmann marginally off his line, and produced an exquisite lob over the goalkeeper's head into the far corner of the net.

GERMANY (4-5-1): Lehmann (Arsenal); Owomoyela (Arminia Bielefeld), Mertesacker (Hannover 96), Worns (Borussia Dortmund), Hitzlsperger (Aston Villa); Asamoah (Schalke 04), Frings (Bayern Munich), Schneider (Bayer Leverkusen), Ernst (Bayern Munich), Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich); Kuranyi (VfB Stuttgart). Substitutes: Freier (Bayer Leverkusen for Asamoah, 29) Schulz (Werder Bremen for Schweinsteiger, h-t). .

ARGENTINA (4-4-2): Abbondanzieri (Boca Juniors); Zanetti (Internazionale), Burdisso (Internazionale), Milito (Real Zaragoza), Heinze (Manchester United); Scaloni (Deportivo La Coruna), Riquelme (Villarreal), Duscher (Deportivo La Coruna), Sorin (Villarreal); Saviola (Monaco), Crespo (Milan). Substitutes: M Rodriguez (Espanyol for Molito, h-t), Cambiasso (Internazionale for Scaloni, h-t) Galletti (Real Zaragoza for Duscher, 77).

Referee: S Farina (Italy).

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice