A Mario Gotze goal in extra time gave Germany its fourth World Cup title on Sunday as they beat Argentina 1-0 at the Maracana. With the win Germany became the first European nation to ever win the World Cup in South American.
The game seemed destined for penalties when a great down and cross from Andre Schurrle found an unmarked Gotze who demonstrated perfect technique and calmness to chest down the cross and sweep in a left-foot finish past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
The Argentina media will have their knives out for Lionel Messi after the loss but Messi was not the faulty. Early on in the first half a Toni Kroos mistake gifted Gonzalo Higuaín a one-on-one chance with Manuel Neuer,but he shanked the ball hopelessly wide. Higuain later had a goal disallowed for office when he made his run too early. Two great chances that Higuain puts away in a Real Madrid shirt.
Then in extra time, Rodrigo Palacio was also presented with a one-on-one with Neuer, but the Inter striker put it wide. Two great chances for Argentina, that if they had went in would have forever changed the discussion about where Messi ranks amongst the all-time greats.
As for Germany, this was a big win for a group of players that have developed a reputation for falling short both at the club and international level. But now this heavily Bayern Munich based squad has picked up the Champions League and World Cup in the last 14 months, two results that will ease the pressure on them and potentially set them up to go on an win more trophies both a club and international level.