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Germany wins extra time Cup thriller

Monday, July 14, 2014

Update: 11:27AM Germany has won the 2014 World Cup after Mario Goetze hit the final's only goal in a 1-0 extra-time win over Argentina at the Maracana on Monday morning.

A combination of substitutes provided Germany's golden moment as Andre Schuerrle danced past his marker on the left wing before hitting a sumptuous cross to Goetze, who chested the ball down and volleyed past Sergio Romero in one spectacular movement.

It is the fourth World Cup triumph for Germany after 18 years without an international title, to go alongside its 1954, 1974 and 1990 Cup wins.

Germany also became the first European nation to win the World Cup in the Americas, in a match which saw Argentina go behind for the first time in the tournament.

"We're going to celebrate for at least five weeks now," said Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"At some point we'll stop celebrating but we'll always keep waking up with a smile.

"We did it and it's unbelievable. In the preparation we had some setbacks. We have to think of the guys not here. They are world champions now too."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said: "I feel sadness not to have been able to win the tournament but pride in the team that played a great game.

"I congratulate the players. They are a pride to the nation for the efforts they made and the tournament they played."

Goetze's goal in the 113th minute prompted a mad scramble for one last goal from Argentina as Marcos Rojo volleyed a wild cross into the box which found the head of Lionel Messi, but the nodded shot only landed on the roof of the net.

Messi, on whom so many of Argentina's tournament hopes rested, then had the chance to fire in a free-kick deep into added time of extra time's second half, but shot over the bar as Germany prepared to celebrate.

Gonzalo Higuain then came off second best after a forceful bump from keeper Manuel Neuer, who had raced out to punch a Pablo Zabaleta long ball clear, leaving his knee in the Argentine's collarbone. Somehow, a foul was called against Higuain.

But Germany then came into the match with a string of attacks on Argentina's goal. Klose headed a cross straight to Romero, before a German turnover saw Ozil fluff his lines as he poked a Schuerrle cross wide.

Thomas Mueller then played Schuerrle into the box only for the move to break down thanks to the midfielder's poor touch.

Messi sought to respond for Argentina, cutting in from the right and bringing three defenders with him across the edge of the box, but his left-foot effort curled well wide of goal.

Germany attacked again as Benedikt Hoewedes got into the box but could not pull the ball back for a team-mate, before Ozil ballooned a cross over Schuerrle's head.

Ozil then set the ball up for Toni Kroos on the edge of the area, but his shot trickled wide as extra time beckoned.

Higuain was put clean through by a wayward Kroos header, but contrived to skew his right-foot shot well wide with just Neuer to beat.

A good ball released Ezequiel Lavezzi on the right flank, allowing him to hit an inviting cross which Higuain turned in, but the goal was chalked off after the striker strayed a metre offside.

Christoph Kramer - on as a late call-up after Sami Khedira pulled up with a calf injury in the warm-up, was then forced to come off due to a head knock, forcing Germany into a midfield reshuffle as Schuerrle came on.

Schuerrle was immediately involved soon after as Mueller broke down the right wing before cutting back for the substitute, who forced Romero into a good save with a first-time side-footed effort.

Germany was forced to madly scramble the ball clear after Lavezzi muscled his way to the right byline before cutting the ball back into the box.

Mueller responded with an intercept before transferring the ball to Ozil, who set up a Kroos shot from distance as Romero got down low to save.

Mueller again found space on the right to hit an outswinging cross in Miroslav Klose's direction, but it was just too wide for the forward to get his head on it.

There was late first-half drama in added time as Hoewedes smacked a header firmly against the post from a German corner as the stanza ended with honours even.

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