Germany lifted their fourth World Cup title on Sunday evening after beating Argentina 1-0 in extra time at the iconic Maracana. A finish worthy of scooping up a title provided to be the difference as super-substitute Mario Gotze, chested and volleyed a cross from Andre Schurrle with only seven minutes left till the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
And the winner is …. GERMANY
Going into this cagey match, Germany intended to go into the match unchanged but Joachim Low was forced into a change as Sami Khedira pulled up with an injury in the warm-up. Young Christoph Kramer was given the task of filling in the Real Madrid man’s boots. Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero started off the bench as they fought to be fit for the final.
Germany’s possession dominance became clear from the off, recycling the ball cleanly and working each area of the pitch for weakness. It took a mere 20 minutes before the German were enjoying over 70% of the possession. As the game went on Germany favoured attacking down their right channel with captain Philip Lahm and Thomas Mueller linking up brilliantly. Germany looked convincing with possession as they have all tournament, with a true display of teamwork being greater than individualism.
Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella played a reactive game as he knew of the potentially devastating capabilities of the Germans, as hosts and rivals brazil had found out the hard way in the semi-final. Argentina surrendered possession with seven or eight players back behind the ball at all times. They looked to provide decisive counter attacking breaks through Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who were Argentina’s most likely threats in the first half.
The greatest chance in the game fell to Gonzalo Higuain who pounced on a rare mistake from Toni Kroos which saw him one-on-one with Manuel Neur from a fare distance. Being chased down by a less than pacey defender, Higuain shanked his shot horribly wide. The second half could not break the deadlock and as things went into extra time, it was not clear as to who would lift the trophy. The much hailed substitution of the World Cup winning goal scorer took place with only two minutes left in regulation time as Mario Gotze replaced Miroslav Klose.
Germany is the best team in the World Cup 2014
This Germany side are young, hungry, multitalented and wildly impressive. Even with all these attributes, the final was no walk-over and Argentina can hold their heads up, as coming second at the World Cup is not menial feat too. Die Mannschaft have bought us into another era where the world of football is blessed to watch a team that encompasses all facets of the game with such precision, determination and work ethic. Greats such as Lahm and Schweinsteiger can now rest in peace having made two finals and three semi-finals in the last 5 major tournaments they have entered, it’s impossible to name a more deserving team.