Germany wins the World War and how
Germany wrote a new chapter in the history of international football as they became the first European team to lift the World Cup in South America, clinching a hard-fought 1-0 win over Argentina in the final, their triumph coming on the back of steely resolve and blood on the pitch here. Substitute Mario Goetze scored the all-important goal in the 113th minute, combining with another sub Andre Schurrle, who provided him the assist, leaving thousands of Argentine fans at the iconic Maracana Stadium heartbroken and the Germans, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, ecstatic.
The golden generation of German footballers’ eagerness to win the silverware was best defined by Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was bleeding from a cut on his face following a rough challenge, after the game went into extra time. The winning goal came when Schurrle made inroads down the left hand side and played a cross towards the near post for Gotze, who took it on his chest before placing it into the back of the net with his left foot.
The result meant Lionel Messi’s dream to join the pantheon of greats such as Diego Maradona and Pele ended in heartbreak. The 27-year-old Argentina captain had the chance to win the cup for his country at the start of second half, but this was not to be his day. This was Germany’s fourth World Cup triumph, and their first since reunification. Last time too, their title win had come against Argentina in 1990 in Italy. After a rather subdued outing in the first half, Germany gradually applied pressure on the opponents in the second half, before upping the ante in the extra time. The ploy worked for the Europeans as Argentina appeared to have lost the plot following a promising start, with some of them even resorting to physical game.
Joachim Loew’s side made its intentions clear at the start of extra time, with Schurrle and Mesut Ozil both getting a sniff of the goal. The only consolation for Messi was winning the Golden Ball for being the best player of the tournament. The Golden Boot went to Colombian striker James Rodriguez for scoring six goals while Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer bagged the Golden Glove. In the 22nd minute, what appeared to be a routine clearance was back headed on the path of Higuain by Tony Kross, but the Napoli frontman messed up as he failed to put Argentina in lead with only goalkeeper Mauel Neuer at his mercy.
Ezequiel Lavezzi was also blocked on the goal line from turning in a Messi cross. Few half attempts were taken care of by Neuer. La Albiceleste showed enough speed and movement to trouble the German back four. Higuain, Messi and Lavezzi can all beat their markers for pace and they gave enough evidence of that, alas without success.
Sabella replaced Higuain in the 78th minute with Rodrigo Palacio on a night that could have been his. And then, a few minutes after Fernando Gago’s arrival, 36-year-old Klose’s World Cup came to an end after the finals’ all-time highest scorer was substituted with Goetze, which eventually proved to be a masterstroke.