For a fourth time and first in 24 years, Germany are the World Champions after beating Argentina 1-0 in the final, thanks to a Mario Gotze goal in the 113rd minute, deep into extra time, capping off the 2014 World Cup by beating the two football giants of South American football.
Two minutes before the end of the 90 minutes, Mario Gotze came onto the pitch for Miroslav Klose. The last match ever for an all-time great, but a big step for a young and exciting player. He didn’t do much in the next 25 minutes, but in the 113rd, with Andre Schurrle finally breaking loose on the left wing, he finally did.
Gotze trapped the cross with his chest, wide open and completely alone in the box. Still, it took a great deal of balance and technique to pull off a wonderful finish with his left foot. This was the first time in the tournament that Argentina fell behind someone. It turned to be something they couldn’t get back from.
Although the 0-0 draw after the first 90 minutes, this wasn’t a boring match. Gonzalo Higuain had a goal called for offside in the first half, while Sergio Romero made a few impressive saves. We saw Howedes rattling the post with a powerful header in the first half, and we saw Manuel Neuer nearly take off the head of Gonzelo Higuain on the edge of the box, although it probably was a right call to not whistle for a penalty kick.
Germany keep beating Argentina in the World Cup. Their previous triumph came 24 years ago, at the end of a terrible match and World Cup. This time it was a completely different tournament, with another small win, this time in extra time, but without the controversy and the red cards. Germany also beat Argentina in 2006 and 2010 in the quarterfinals.
For a third consecutive time, the World Cup final reaches extra time. Germany, after being branded as losers for the last eight years, won a tournament they were probably the most impressive team in. With a 4-0 win over Portugal and their crushing blow to the host nation in the semifinals, it’s hard to say this wasn’t deserved. It might not have been the best and most memorable of finals, but it certainly did justice to a side that finally managed to put aesthetics with efficiency together, as Mario Gotze becomes a national hero barely out of his teenage years.