Four years of preparation, one month’s worth of matches and it all came down to this; the final game which would crown either Germany or Argentina as the best national team in the world.
Germany were dealt a huge setback when Sami Khedira was injured in the warm up and 23-year-old Christoph Kramer came in to replace him.
If there was any sense of nervousness floating in the air it was quickly dismissed as the game wasted no team in being open. Argentina should have really taken the lead early when Gonzalo Higauin latched on to poor headed back pass from Toni Kroos, the Napoli striker was one on one with the keeper but could only drag his shot horribly wide.
Shortly after, Higuain thought he had redeemed his miss when he had the ball in the back in the net. A sweeping cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi cut in between Manuel Neuer and the defence for Higuain to prod it home. The only problem was that when Lavezzi crossed it, Higuain was in an offside position. A great decision and one that cut Higuain’s celebrations short.
Only a minute later, Kramer who replaced the injured Sami Khedira was himself substituted after rather innocuously hitting his head in an earlier challenge. André Schürrle came on his place.
Germany managed to up their game after their two scares and went close when Schürrle’s shot was palmed away by Sergio Romero. They should have also taken the lead on the stroke of half time when Benedikt Höwedes powered a header from a corner against the post.
After the interval the action immediately got back back underway with the man everyone is expecting to score breaking through. Lionel Messi gets in behind the defence, he has a slight angle on him and should at least test Neuer, but puts his shot just wide of the post.
10 Minutes later Argentina came forward again seeing Neuer and Higauin clashing. The Bayern Munich keeper got their first in fairness but the followthrough clattered Higuain. Germany got the free kick.
The rest of the half offered a high tempo with Germany largely dominating but just couldn't find a way through. They should have done better with opportunities too, Özil cuts the ball back to Kroos on the edge of the box who can only pass it wide of the goal.
With neither teams scoring in normal team for successive World Cups, it goes to extra time.
The half got off to a bang straight away when Schürlle smashed a shot straight at Romero who can only palm it away.
Then it was Argentina’s chance, substitute Rodrigo Palacio chested down the ball past the German defence and used the balls momentum to take it over Neuer, but the chance went wide. A very big chance, and Palacio may look back at that come the end of the game.
With still no goals the game entered the second period of extra time.
The game looked for all the world that it was going to penalties and then finally, there was a goal.
André Schürlle blasts down the left wing and executes a superb cross into Mario Götze who chests it and on the way down volleys it past Romero. A sensational finish and one worthy of winning the World Cup.
Argentina just couldn’t force their way back into the game and in the very last minute Messi had a free-kick about 35 yards out. He could only blast it over handing Germany the World Cup trophy.
Germany walk away as winners of the 2014 World Cup and well deservedly so.