Date: July 13, 2014
Result: Germany 1-0 Argentina
- Gotze 113
Match overview: Germany won their fourth World Cup thanks to a brilliant goal from substitute Mario Gotze in injury time. Argentina had their chances to win a tight game in normal time but spurned several excellent opportunities.
The early chances fell to Argentina. They were presented with the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Toni Kroos tried to head back to Neuer. The ball bounced into the path of Gonzalo Higuain but Argentina’s number nine shanked his shot wide.
Higuain was more precise with his next effort, prodding Ezequiel Lavezzi’s cross past Manuel Neuer but his effort was chalked out for offside. It was a wonderful move, started with a brilliant thigh-trap and pass by Lionel Messi.
Argentina’s movement was impressive and Germany resorted to foul means to stop them. A nasty foul by Benedikt Howedes could easily earned more than a yellow.
Kramer, an unexpected starter in place of Khedira, who was injured in the warm-up, departed after half an hour with suspected concussion. His replacement Andre Schurrle had Germany’s first shot on target when Romero pushed away his sidefooted shot after Thomas Muller’s run and cutback. Germany hit a post in first-half injury time, a thundering header by the unmarked Howedes from a corner.
Sergio Aguero replaced Lavezzi at half-time but the change did not help Argentina. Aside from a shot early in the half, when he placed a shot across Neuer early in the half, Lionel Messi was subdued.
Germany keeper Neuer could easily have been sent off his over-the-top challenge on Gonzalo Higuain, which left the striker bruised and he was subbed a few minutes later.
With both teams tiring, the game was interrupted by fouls. Space began to open up but nobody could take advantage. Schurrle shot straight at Romero at the start of extra time, and Aguero shot across goal when he could have delayed and passed to the arriving Messi.
Rodrigo Palacio missed a wonderful chance that was presented when Mats Hummels misjudge the flight of a cross. The substitute dinked the ball over Neuer but it ran the wrong side of a post.
Aguero got away with a foul on Schweinsteiger that left the Germany midfielder with blood streaming down his face as both sides battled on.
Germany’s winning goal was created by Schurrle, who accelerated past Javier Mascherano on the left flank and fired in a cross that evaded Argentina centre-back Martin Demichelis. Gotze controlled the ball with his chest and snapped a volley past Romero.
Messi blasted a free-kick way over the crossbar in the final minute of extra time. It was that sort of night for Argentina.
Key moment: Mario Gotze’s brilliantly-taken goal in the 113th minute. The Bayern Munich midfielder had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, having replaced Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute. But he made his presence felt with an historic finish.
Man of the match: Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Germany midfielder was immense over the course of 120 minutes. He ended the match with a bloodied face, a result of the clash with Aguero.
Matter of fact: Argentina’s only shot on target in the entire match was Gonzalo Higuain’s shot that was ruled out for offside.
Talking point: Germany won their fourth World Cup with a brilliant piece of finishing from Mario Gotze seven minutes from the end of extra time, but Argentina had enough chances to win the game in normal time. Gonzalo Giguain and Rodrigo Palacio both failed to take opportunities while Lionel Messi was strangely below-par. Things might have been different for Argentina had Angel Di Maria recovered his fitness, while some people will question the wisdom of omitting Carlos Tevez from the squad.
- Germany 10
- Argentina 10
- Germany 5
- Argentina 0
- Germany 5
- Argentina 3
- Lahm (c)
- Kramer (Schurrle 31)
- Ozil (Mertersacker 120)
- Klose (Gotze 87)
- Perez (Gago 85)
- Lavezzi (Aguero 46)
- Messi (c)
- Higuain (Palacio 76)
- Schweinsteiger 28, Howedes 34
- Mascherano 64, Aguero 65
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)