Germany crowned 2014 World Champions
Germany have been crowned World Champions after beating Argentina, becoming the first European team to win the World Cup in South America.
Germany and Argentina have come up against each other in the final of the World Cup twice before, Germany winning one whilst Argentina winning the other. It was a chance for Argentina to avenge the Germans who had beaten them 4-0 back in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.
Before the game began, there was some unfortunate news for the Germans as Sami Khedira was replaced by Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer after suffering a calf injury during the pre-game warm up.
The Germans made no secret of the fact that they were taking the driving seat and controlling the game through the midfield having held over 60% of the possession in the first 15 minutes of the game, and they continued to do so until the final minutes of the game.
Argentina, on the other hand, dropped deep and welcomed the German pressure and had no problem in playing on the counter and holding off the Germans for most of the game.
Gonzalo Higuaín had the first chance of the game as a miss placed back-pass header from Toni Kroos put Gonzalo one-on-one with Manuel Neuer but the Argentinian scuffed his volley for a goal-kick.
Minutes later, Higuan thought he put Argentina ahead after he slotted Lavezzi’s low cross into the far post and away from Neuer’s reach however, his happiness was short lived as Lavezzi’s pass was rule offside by the linesman with replays backing the official’s decision.
Kramer, who made his way into the Germans starting XI after injury to Khedira, was taken off after 30 minutes on the clock to be replaced by André Schürrle after suffering a knock to the head in a collision with Ezequiel Garay.
Just before the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the first half, luck stood on Argentina’s side after Benedickt Howedes’ header from a Kroos corner hit the post. The ball rebounded and hit Muller’s stomach and was saved on the line by Sergio Romero but Muller was subsequently ruled offside.
Both sides kept exchanging blows looking for the winner and the Germans, at last, were able to finish the game as Mario Gotze controlled Schurrle’s cross perfectly with his chest before launching the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle before it hit the ground with his left foot, giving Germany the lead and putting them within minutes of winning their fourth World Cup.
Lionel Messi had the chance to equalize the game as he stood up to take a free kick on the edge of the box, a tense moment for everyone that involved players and spectators alike. His shot went soaring into the sky signalling the end of all hope for the South Americans.
The Barcelona player didn’t leave the Maracana empty handed, though; Messi was awarded the golden ball for the tournament. Neuer received the golden glove with Colombian James Rodriguez being awarded the golden boot for finding the back of the net six times while France youngster Paul Pogba was awarded the prize for the best young player of the tournament.
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