Germany Clinches 2014 FIFA World Cup Final: Gotze’s Extra Time Heroics Stuns Argentina

2014 FIFA World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina:

The 2014 FIFA World Cup final marked the pinnacle of the 20th edition of FIFA’s renowned international football tournament. This historic match took place at the iconic Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 13, 2014, showcasing an intense clash between Germany and Argentina, two football giants.

Host nation Brazil was joined by thirty-one other teams from the six FIFA confederations that qualified for the tournament.

Germany Clinches 2014 FIFA World Cup Final: Gotze’s Extra Time Heroics Stuns Argentina

As West Germany, Germany had previously won the championship three times, in 1954, 1974, and 1990. Argentina won twice, in the years 1978 and 1986. The two teams had previously faced off six times in World Cup competition, with Argentina winning the 1986 championship game 3-2 and West Germany winning the 1990 championship game 1-0. In the quarterfinals of the last two World Cups, Germany had faced off against each other. In 2006, they had prevailed through penalty shootouts, and in 2010, they had lost 4-0.

Both times, Germany was eliminated in the semifinals. Prior to the 2014 World Cup, the two countries’ most recent encounter took place in a friendly game on August 15, 2012, at Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt. Argentina emerged victorious, winning 3-1.

Match Analysis

At 4 p.m. local time (7 p.m. UTC), Germany began the match in front of 74,738 spectators and an estimated 1.013 billion viewers worldwide at 23 °C (73 °F) and 65% humidity. At the time of kickoff, the weather at Santos Dumont Airport, which is located 6.5 kilometers (4 km) from the stadium, was reported as fair; later in the evening, it turned partly cloudy. Three minutes into the match, Rojo fouled Muller about twenty-five yards (23 meters) from the Argentina goal, winning Germany a free kick.

Argentina counterattacked after the free kick was struck squarely against the wall. Before delivering to Higuain on the edge of the penalty box, Pablo Zabaleta sprinted with the ball down the right. He attempted a shot from a close range, but Neuer’s left goalpost was not able to catch the ball. Messi beat Hummels on the Argentina right and entered the penalty area on minute nine. Schweinsteiger arrived first and cleared the byline before he could locate Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Germany enjoyed significantly more of the early possession, but Argentina had “the best opportunity for either side” so far, according to Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports, after a defensive blunder by Germany on minute twenty. After Higuaín and Neuer had a one-on-one, Neuer’s effort from the edge of the penalty area missed the goal due to a mistake by Kroos. After Philipp Lahm’s cross, Klose had a chance to score on minute 23, but Zabaleta took him out of the game before he could shoot.

Lavezzi created space for Argentina on the right and entered the penalty box in the thirty-first minute. Higuaín gathered the ball and skillfully sent it past Neuer to score. He gave a few seconds of celebration, but the strike was called back because he was offside.

Shortly after, Germany changed players, removing Kramer due to a head injury he had suffered 14 minutes earlier. His replacement was Schurrle. At the 33-minute mark, Howedes was given a yellow card for a tackle that struck Zabaleta in the shins. Schweinsteiger then blocked Messi’s attempt from 20 yards (18 meters).

After one minute, Müller led Germany’s assault down the left, passing to Schurrle. Despite Ozil blocking his line of sight, he struck a shot toward the upper left corner of the goal, but Romero made a full-stretch dive to save it. Messi was then given another chance to kick the ball toward the goal while sprinting into the Germany penalty area with the ball.

With a goal-line clearing, Jerome Boateng stopped Argentina from grabbing the lead. Howedes had the “best chance of the half” just before halftime when he received a corner from Kroos in the penalty area, but his headed attempt from an offside position struck the goalpost, keeping the score 0–0 at the break.

Second Half

Lavezzi was replaced on the field by Aguero when Argentina started the second half. In the first minute of the half, Higuaín ran down the right flank and attempted a shot, but it missed Neuer’s goal. A minute later, Messi was one on one with the goalkeeper and had another chance to score, but his low shot again missed.

In the first ten minutes of the half, Argentina possessed more possession than Germany. On the fiftyth minute, Higuain got a ball just inside the penalty area, but his attempt to score was unsuccessful. Despite the opinion of Argentine pundits, Neuer’s tackle of Higuain in the penalty area in the 56th minute did not result in a penalty. Nor was there a card given. On minute fifty-nine, Klose got Germany’s first attempt on goal of the second half, but Romero collected his weak shot.

Four minutes later, Martin Demichelis headed for a goal for Argentina, but Klose intercepted it to put it behind. Not long after ceding the ball to Klose, Javier Mascherano hauled down Klose and was booked. A minute later, Aguero, his teammate, was also booked for fouling Schweinsteiger. The first half had been “goalless and brilliant,” while the second half was “goalless and… well, not so much,” according to Scott Murray of The Guardian, who also pointed out that it was still an open game halfway through.

On minute 71, Germany had a chance thanks to a build-up that Murray referred to as “tiki-taka” involving Muller, Schurrle, and Ozil. However, when Schurrle eventually got to the penalty area with Romero as his lone opponent, he mishandled the ball and the goalkeeper claimed it. After sprinting across the German penalty area, Messi attempted to curl his shot into the upper left corner of the goal on the 75th minute, but it missed the mark.

With ten minutes left, Germany called for a penalty after a struggle near the Argentina goalpost after a cross from Lahm, but the referee gave Argentina a goal kick. After Ozil laid off a ball, Kroos had another opportunity for Germany, but he missed the mark. In the last five minutes, both teams changed players: Gotze replaced Klose for Germany and Fernando Gago replaced Enzo Perez for Argentina.

In 2021, Klose will still stand as the most prolific striker for any nation in World Cup history. This was his final game for Germany. After ninety minutes, the match was still scoreless, hence extra time was needed.

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Mario Gotze Heroics In Extra Time

Gotze passed to Schurrle in front of goal early in the first half of extra time, but Romero blocked his close-range attempt. Messi and Aguero then broke upfield with just two defenders covering them, but Boateng was able to intercept and clear the threat. Five minutes later, Rodrigo Palacio seized on a mistake made by Hummels in the German penalty area and lobbed the ball over Neuer, missing just by the narrowest of margins.

Murray noted that Argentina was “offering very little up front” at the halfway point of extra time, and he surmised that many of the players might be “thinking about penalties already”. The Daily Telegraph’s Alan Tyers observed that Messi had not been performing well since halftime and that he did not “look quite the ticket”. Germany broke the tie in the second half of extra time when Gotze scored in the 113th minute.

After getting past two defenders quickly on the left, Schurrle crossed into the penalty area, where Gotze controlled the ball with his chest before volleying it into the net with his left foot. Shortly after, Muller dribbled past two players to have a chance to double Germany’s lead, but his effort across the net went wide.

Messi had a chance to equalize late in extra time with a free kick that was close to the goal, but his shot soared beyond the crossbar. That turned out to be the last play of the match, as Germany won 1-0 and the whistle was blown to end the match.

Post Match Stats

After Italy and Spain’s victories in 2006 and 2010, Germany’s victory was the first World Cup victory by a European team in the Americas and the third consecutive European victory overall. During the on-field awards ceremony, German captain Philipp Lahm received the trophy from Brazilian President Rousseff. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was standing next to her while the trophy was being handed over.

The official tournament song “We Are One (Ole Ola)” played as Lahm raised the trophy. Despite just participating in the final two minutes of regulation time and the full thirty minutes of extra time, goal scorer Gotze was awarded the official man of the match for the championship game. FIFA’s Golden Ball went Lionel Messi, who they deemed to be the best player in the tournament, while Neuer received the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper.

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