Die Mannschaft are now world champions. Germany defeated Argentina in Rio de Janeiro with their substitute Mario Gotze finding the back of the net in the 113th minute. This now gives Germany four world cup titles tying them with Italy, and putting them one behind Brazil’s tally of five.
The first 90 minutes provided chances for both teams. Both squads had their opportunities to take the advantage of a goal in regulation time. Argentina had the first clear-cut chance when Toni Kroos headed a ball towards his back four, and actually passed it right to a waiting Gonzalo Higuain. Higuain made the run towards Manuel Neur, and shanked the shot left. The chance went begging. Germany had their shot on target before halftime when a Toni Kroos corner connected with Benedikt Howedes’ head, and hit Sergio Romero’s goal post. Halftime score was deadlocked at zero goals apiece.
The second half had the same feel as the first half. Both squads had their chances, but no one took advantage of them. Both squads started to slow down as the built up fatigue of the tournament started to settle into the players’ legs. Germany looked slower than usual, and Lionel Messi said post match that his legs felt like they weighed a hundred kilos later on in the match. This was now more of a mental fight than a physical one. Which team can stay focused, and not make a mistake?
After an even 90 minutes of football, the scoreline read 0-0. Germany desperately needed something creative and quick to grab the lead in extra time. The depth of the German squad showed their quality as the substitute Mario Gotze (who came on in the 88th minute), capitalized on another substitute’s cross and great play by Andre Schurrle. The two young German players beat Argentina’s defense, who at that point kept the high scoring Germans at zero goals. The young legs of the two German stars seemed to be the turning point as the buildup started from the other side of the pitch. Argentina bravely fought all match long, but came up short when it mattered.
The Germans have finally captured the crown after semi-final failures of 2006, and 2010. They finally broke the trend of coming up short. Their players pulled through on their world class labels. Manuel Neuer won the golden glove for the finest goalkeeper in the tournament, Thomas Muller finishes with five world cup goals, and Miroslav Klose gets his record for most world cup goals. For Argentina, they can hold their heads up high, as they pushed the Germans to the limit. Argentina came into the game as underdogs, and held their own for 113minutes. Lionel Messi ends his World Cup campaign with a bitter sweet moment by winning the golden ball, and is looking forward to the Barcelona season to begin.