Angel Di Maria wouldn't have changed World Cup final result - Joachim Low
DUESSELDORF, Germany -- Angel Di Maria set up three goals and scored the fourth himself as Argentina trounced Germany 4-2 in their friendly match, but German coach Joachim Low said the attacking midfielder, who was injured for the final in Brazil, wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome of the teams' last meeting.
Argentina was up 4-0 after just 50 minutes to dampen the home side's World Cup title celebrations in their first game since winning the final 1-0 in extra time in Brazil in July.
"We would have beaten them even if Di Maria played on July 13," said Low, who said the game didn't serve as revenge for Argentina's World Cup loss. "It can't be revenge. You can't bring the final back."
With Lionel Messi absent due to a right leg injury, Di Maria assumed the instigator's role, setting up Sergio Aguero in the 21st minute, Erik Lamela's outstanding volley in the 40th, and Federico Fernandez' headed goal two minutes after the interval.
"Angel di Maria showed why he is one of the five best players in the world," Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said.
Di Maria, who completed his move to Manchester United from Real Madrid last week, crowned his performance in the 50th with a chip over substitute Germany goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, after a great run set up by Argentina captain Javier Mascherano.
Andre Schurrle pulled one back from a rebound two minutes later before Mario Goetze, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, made it 4-2 with a deflected shot in the 78th.
Both sides fielded much-changed lineups to the ones that contested the biggest game in world football in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium 52 days earlier.
Germany made seven changes to its side. Captain Philipp Lahm, fellow defender Per Mertesacker and record scorer Miroslav Klose all retired after the final, while coach Low also had to contend with a host of injuries.
"Actually I can't make any accusations against the team, they had never played together like that before," Low said.
Martino, who took over from Alejandro Sabella after the final, had to do without Messi on his debut. He did, however, have Di Maria -- who missed the title match with an injury.
Martino said Di Maria made himself "more prominent'' than he had been at the World Cup.
Mario Gomez was back in the German side after missing out on the World Cup due to fitness concerns. The striker missed three chances to score with the goal at his mercy. The Fiorentina striker was whistled by fans after his last miss and again when he was substituted.
He was missing for around seven months. For me it was important to see how he moved, and that he had the chances,'' Loew said. "Of course he still needs a bit of time to get back to form after such a long time out with injury.''