ctfc.com World Cup reporter Tom Blackburn reports on Germany's World Cup success.
Mario Gotze was the hero at the Macarana Stadium in Brazil as Germany were crowned the 2014 FIFA World Cup champions, beating Argentina 1-0 after extra time.
The Germans brought the end to their 24-year wait for the elusive prize following a close match in which both teams wasted fantastic opportunities.
Gotze came off the bench to score from inside the area when he showed his class to bring down Andre Schurrle’s cross beautifully with his chest before volleying the ball into Sergio Romero’s net.
Neither team could score able to score in the first 90 minutes, despite Argentina having the ball in the net in the 30th minute when Ezequiel Lavezzi through ball found Gonzalo Higuain who comfortably put the ball in the back of the net, however the linesman correctly flagged for offside.
Germany should have scored just before half time when Benedikt Howedes’ header from a corner hit the post from just six yards out.
Argentinian captain and talisman Lionel Messi also spurred a great chance when he found himself one on one with Manuel Neuer, however Messi put his shot past the far post and the wasted chance defined the Barcelona forward’s night.
Argentina looked dangerous at the start of the second half and looked to push numbers forward though it was Germany who were the better side. Löw’s side had 64% of possession, whilst Alejandro Sabella’s side failed to have a shot on target.
In extra-time Rodrigo Palacio missed a great chance when he tried to lob Neuer, though the effort was weak, and that meant Gotze’s 113th minute goal was the defining moment of the match.
The result was identical to the 2010 final, when Spain won 1-0 against Netherlands but there is no doubt this final was far more exciting.
Germany were given a blow in the warm-up when holding midfielder Sami Khedeira was injured. Christoph Kramer replaced him in the starting line-up however manager Joachim Löw was presented with another problem when Kramer clashed Ezequiel Garay and was subsequently substituted for Schurrle.
This performance greatly contrasted the performance they produced when beating Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final. Whilst in that match they showed their excellent flair and attacking capabilities, against Argentina they demonstrated how to keep the ball intelligently and were solid at the back.
Germany are the first team to win the treasured trophy in South America and few would deny that they deserved the triumph. It is the first time the nation has won the prize since West and East Germany reunited in 1990.
The German side is very similar to the one that lost in the semi-final four years ago, and the squad also contained six players that beat England 4-0 at the U21 World cup in 2009. This progression as a team is no doubt a key factor to their success
The final brings an end to a fantastic world cup that has had many highs and lows. Despite England failing unequivocally, the tournament provide game after game of thrilling action including last minute goals, penalty shoot outs and of course a notable biting incident!
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