Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, 13.07.2014
Argentina

1-0 aet (0-0, 0-0)
Götze 113. / –

It is not often that a World Cup Final has felt like the morning after the night before, but Germany’s historic 7-1 destruction of Brazil in the semi-final was always going to be a hard act to follow. Having destroyed the hosts in history-making fashion on their own turf, one could say that Jogi Löw’s side had almost felt obliged to see out the competition with a win against Argentina.

This was the seventh meeting between (West) Germany and Argentina in the World Cup – the biggest head to head rivalry in the history of the competition. Germany held the upper hand in the record books, coming into the match with four victories (1958, 1990, 2006, 2010), one draw (1966) and just the one defeat (1986). It was also the third time both teams had met in the final showpiece, after 1986 in Mexico City – a 3-2 win for Argentina – and Rome in 1990, where Andreas Brehme’s penalty delivered Germany their third world title.

After the goal-fest in Belo Horizonte, the final would be a complete contrast. The defensively-minded Argentinians clearly set out with a plan of stifling the free-scoring Germans, and right from the start the game was both tactical and cagey. It was like two boxers sparring, trading tactical blows with neither side willing to take the risk in trying to deliver the knockout blow.

There were opportunities for both teams – Argentina had a goal disallowed for offside and the Mannschaft agonisingly hit the post – but there was a sense of inevitability about the goalless finish and the game going into extra time.

With just seven minutes of the additional thirty minutes remaining and the dreaded penalty shootout looming, Mario Götze, on as a late substitute, decided the game with what was arguably the best goal ever scored in a World Cup Final. It was a truly glorious finish for the men in Schwarz und Weiß

It was the perfect way to end a glorious campaign, and Germany’s fourth World Cup triumph.

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Germany: Neuer – Lahm (c), Boateng, Hummels, Höwedes – Schweinsteiger – Kramer (32. Schürrle), Kroos – Müller, Özil (120. Mertesacker) – Klose (88. Götze)

Argentina: Romero – Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo – Biglia, Mascherano – Lavezzi (46. Agüero), Perez (86. Gago) – Messi (c), Higuaín (78. Palacio)

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Assistants: Renato Faverani, Andrea Stefani (Italy)
Fourth Official: Carlos Vera (Ecuador)
Fifth Official: Christian Lescano (Ecuador)

Yellow Cards: Schweinsteiger 29., Höwedes 34. / Mascherano 64., Agüero 65.
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 60% / 40%
Attempts on Target: 7 / 2
Attempts off Target: 3 / 8
Corners: 5 / 3
Fouls Committed: 20 / 16

Attendance: 74,738

Man of the Match: Mario Götze

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