Germany tops Argentina in extra time, wins World Cup

Germany 1, Argentina 0

Sunday, July 13, 2014 5:36 PM
Last updated Monday, July 14, 2014 12:02 AM
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RIO DE JANEIRO — Mario Goetze produced the piece of individual skill that Lionel Messi couldn’t muster.

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Germany's Mario Goetze kicks to score his side's first goal in extra time against Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium.  NATACHA PISARENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
NATACHA PISARENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Germany's Mario Goetze kicks to score his side's first goal in extra time against Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium.

With two quick, deft touches, Goetze ended Germany’s 24-year wait for another World Cup title with an extra-time winner against Argentina on Sunday – denying Messi the one title he needs to forever take his place among the game’s all-time greats.

It was the moment of brilliance that ensured Germany’s 1-0 victory in a tight and tense final.

Goetze, who wasn’t born when West Germany beat Argentina in the 1990 final, controlled a cross with his chest in the 113th minute and in one fluid motion volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Romero and inside the far post from five yards out.

It delivered Germany its fourth World Cup title, equal second with Italy on the list of all-time champions and just behind Brazil’s five.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. You just shoot that goal in, you don’t really know what’s happening,” Goetze said. “And then at the end of the match, having a party with the team, the whole country … it is for us, a dream come true.”

At the final whistle, Germany players fell into a pile in a mid-pitch celebration. Messi walked past them with his hands on his hips – still in the shadow of his compatriot Diego Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 title.

The 22-year-old Goetze went on as a substitute for Miroslav Klose near the end of regulation time and his fresh legs made the difference.

Andre Schuerrle broke down the left flank, sending his cross into the penalty area, and the Bayern Munich midfielder did the rest. The goal echoed that of Andres Iniesta four years ago, when the midfielder scored in similar fashion but from the other side of the penalty area to give Spain a 1-0 extra-time win over the Netherlands.

It went entirely to script, according to Germany coach Joachim Loew.

“I said to Mario Goetze, ‘OK, show to the world that you’re better than Messi and you can decide the World Cup. You have all the possibilities to do that,’” Loew said. “I had a good feeling with him.”

Germany became the first European team to win a World Cup in the Americas, and the victory ends a string of near misses since winning its last major title at the 1996 European Championship. The team lost the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil, the Euro 2008 final to Spain and was eliminated in the semifinals in both 2006 and 2010.

Argentina had not been back in the final since that 1990 loss, and has now been beaten by Germany in the past three World Cups.

“This was our chance, and we felt that way. We couldn’t do it. We have to lift our heads and suffer the pain,” Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. “Obviously, the pain is tremendous.”

The Germans faced Argentina in both the 1986 and 1990 finals, during Maradona’s heyday. This time, they were up against Messi, the four-time world player of the year who has set a slew of scoring records in leading Barcelona to every major club title and is widely considered the best player since Maradona. But in the biggest game of his career, Messi came up short.

Until Goetze’s winning goal, the game was more notable for top-class defending than creative attacking, but both teams had their share of chances.

Gonzalo Higuain fired wide when gifted a chance in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, and later had a goal ruled out for offside.

Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes hit the post just before halftime with a header.

Germany had entered the game as the favorite after its 7-1 semifinal drubbing of Brazil. But Argentina proved to be an entirely different proposition.

“I’m very proud of the team. They played a great game against a great team,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. “I salute the players, they made the country proud.”

After Germany’s last win in 1990, then-coach Franz Beckenbauer predicted that a unified Germany would be “unbeatable” in the future. It took 24 years to prove him right but with young players like Goetze, the next wait may not be as long.

“We, I think, deserve this trophy,” Goetze said.

Comments (5) Add comment
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sawgrass
1403
Points
sawgrass 07/13/14 - 06:04 pm
1
1
wow

I was watching my paint dry and got more excited.

Connor Threlkeld
667
Points
Connor Threlkeld 07/13/14 - 06:13 pm
1
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It was an epic goal,

It was an epic goal, sawgrass, well worth the wait. I was just glad it came right before I had to leave for work.

sawgrass
1403
Points
sawgrass 07/13/14 - 07:19 pm
2
1
egic goal

Oh yes, well worth the wait. I was so excited sitting for two hours and seeing no one score. Nil to nil. What a nail biter.

Connor Threlkeld
667
Points
Connor Threlkeld 07/13/14 - 07:31 pm
1
1
In the interest of full

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't exactly sit there staring at the TV for a few hours. If I did, I probably would've felt the same way.

Granted, I can't stand to just sit around watching any sport, high scoring or not. I like football, but I hate that football players rarely go more than 15 seconds without a 45 second break to ask their coaches what to do next. Every sport has its flaws.

AFjoe
2014
Points
AFjoe 07/14/14 - 12:33 pm
0
0
World Cup

Found between the world's legs.

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