Germany has claimed a fourth World Cup crown in a 1-0 win against Argentina after extra time in the final in Rio de Janeiro. Substitute Mario Goetze was the hero, as he scored the only goal with seven minutes to go.
With that triumph Germany has become the first European nation to win the trophy outside of their home continent, which led to jubilant scenes both on the pitch and back home, with millions of fans celebrating their feat.
However, Joachim Low’s side had to do it the hard way, as they got off to a very slow start. Argentina was by far the better side during the first half, but Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi missed two scoring opportunities. Higuain had also had a goal rightly disallowed for offside. Argentina was left to rue its wastefulness in front of goal as the match wore on and Germany began to dominate.
Neither side was able to score in normal time, which sent the game into 30 minutes of extra time. Argentina had its third excellent opportunity of the night, which fell to Rodrigo Palacio, but the Inter Milan forward failed to convert.
Substitute Mario Goetze, who had not made much of an impact on the tournament, was to be the hero. He received Andre Schurlle’s raking pass with aplomb, before showing excellent close control and firing an instinctive finish past the Argentinian goalkeeper.
Germany managed to withstand some late pressure and held on to claim a fourth World Cup and their first since West Germany and East Germany reunified in 1990.
Germany has gone close to winning the tournament in recent years, having reached the final in 2002, where they were beaten by Brazil, and the semi-finals in 2006 and 2010. Bastian Schweinsteiger, who received a cut below his eye after a challenge from Sergio Aguero failed to hold back the tears, as he embraced head coach, Joachim Low, who has under seen a revolution in German football, when he took over the helm eight years ago.
Captain Phillipp Lahm was left with the honor of hoisting the World Cup, which he wasted very little time in doing, with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel in close attendance.
Germany ended the tournament unbeaten, but will perhaps best be remembered for their 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semi-finals, which ended the host nations hopes of claiming a record sixth World Cup crown.
Football fans will now have to wait for another four years before the next edition gets underway, when it will take place in Russia.
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