World Cup Final Report: Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET)

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Germany 1-0 Argentina

Gotze (113')

Germany won the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Argentina in the historic Estadio do Maracana.

Mario Gotze's amazing volley deep into extra-time was a goal worth of winning the World Cup for your country and was enough to separate the two sides to give Germany their fourth World Cup win.

It means they become the first European team to win the World Cup on American soil.

The better side over the 120 minutes won the game, and they were the best side across the whole tournament.

120 minutes

Germany were dealt a huge blow before the game kicked off when Sami Khedira, who was brilliant in the 7-1 win over Brazil, injured his calf. Christoph Kramer was named in the starting line-up for his first ever competitive start for his country.

Past World Cups, and their finals, have been tight and tense affairs. But this been has open a largely open and exciting World Cup and the opening stages of the final were very much the same. Germany dominated possession in the early stages, but Argentina were constantly a danger on the counter-attack.

The pace of Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi was causing all sorts of problems for the German defence. But the German's continued to control the ball and pick their passes as they tried to make their way through the Argentina defence.

Both sides found plenty of joy down their respective right-hand sides. Muller and Lahm had the ball in the channel on a number of occasions, but the South Americans were able to cope with their crosses.

Twenty minutes into the game, Argentina were gifted an unbelievable chance to take the lead. Toni Kroos headed it back without looking, straight into the path of Higuain who was free on goal. He was one-on-one with Neuer but he dragged his shot wide.

Ten minutes later, Higuain did get the ball in the back of the net. Zabaleta was in acres of space on the right and delivered an inch perfect cross into the box. Higuain made space for himself in the penalty and side footed it in on the volley. As he spun away in ecstasy, the assistant referee raised his flag for offside and the goal was ruled out.

Germany were dealt even more bad luck as Christoph Kramer was forced off. He'd been on the receiving end of a heavy blow to the head from Ezequiel Garay's shoulder. Kramer had continued but he didn't look in a good way and the decision was made to take him off. Andre Schurrle replaced him and Toni Kroos dropped back into a deeper lying midfield role.

Both sides were starting to create a few half chances whilst never really troubling the goalkeepers. Germany almost took the lead through Benedikt Howedes. The defender's powerful header from the corner crashed against the post and Thomas Muller's rebound was offside.

Argentina made a substitute at half-time, with Lavezzi coming off for Sergio Aguero.

The second-half followed much of the same pattern. Germany continued to dominate possession, but Argentina looked dangerous on the counter-attack. Neither side really made the opposing goalkeeper work.

The best chance of the half fell to Messi. He beat the offside trap and raced through to the left of the goal, but he too dragged his shot just wide of the post. He went quiet for a large period of the second half, but came to life in the last 15 minutes. His pace continued to cause problems, and on one occasion he brilliantly cut inside time and time again but couldn't wrap his foot around it.

Germany had a few half chances, but couldn't create anything concrete. Brilliant passing moves twice found men inside the box. But neither Andre Schurrle or Benedikt Howedes could get the ball under the control and the chance went.

The final whistle was blown and the game was set for extra-time. Despite the lack of goals, it was far from an uneventful 90 minutes, particularly in the first-half.

Extra-time got off to the flying start. Germany raced out of the blocks and almost got the opening goal with a minute gone. Gotze, on the byline, flicked it into the path of Schurrle. He volleyed towards goal but Romero was able to block it. Immediately, Argentina picked it up and burst forward on the counter attack with three against two. It looked like Neuer would be needed to save the day for Germany, but Jerome Boateng pulled off an excellent last ditch tackle. His centre-back partner, Mats Hummels, then made another great tackle. The pairing were fantastic all game. They were troubled by the superior pace of Argentina, but they more than made up for it with a string of defiant tackles.

It was end-to-end stuff in the first 15. Both sides looked tired and it was starting to show. Hummels misjudged Marcus Rojo's cross and Palacio was free in space. He took it on the chest and flicked it over the on-rushing Neuer, but it bounced just wide.

After the furious opening few minutes of the first-half of extra time, the pattern of the match returned. Plenty of attractive passing wasn't met with the clinical, killer instinct needed to take the lead.

Argentina could've easily had two men sent off in as many minutes in the opening stages of the second half. First Javier Mascherano went in late on Bastian Schweinsteiger. He was already on a yellow card, but the referee only awarded the free-kick. Soon after, it was Schweinsteiger again. Sergio Aguero's knuckles caught the midfielder as the pair of them contested the high ball. It caused a nasty gash on his cheek but there was no further punishment for Aguero, who was also on a yellow card.

The game became quite hostile with tempers flaring. But suddenly the game burst into life. Andre Schurrle powered down the left-hand side with a fantastic run. He saw substitute Mario Gotze in space in the box, the cross was inch perfect. Gotze, running through on goal, took it on the chest and volleyed it past Romero with his left foot to give Germany the lead. It was a fantastic goal. One that was worthy of winning any game, but especially a World Cup.

But it wasn't over. With a little over five minutes left of extra-time, Argentina piled their players forward. The Germany defence, as it had done all game, stood strong and they never looked like conceding and held out.

The final whistle blew and Germany were crowned World Champions!

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