By Carmen Glover
In a fitting end to an exciting tournament, Mario Gotze, who entered the game as a substitute for prolific scorer Miroslav Klose, scored Germany’s lone goal in extra time to lead the team to its fourth FIFA World Cup Championship.
This is the first time in World Cup history that a European team has won the trophy on South American soil. An eager crowd gathered at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, joining more than a billion viewers worldwide to witness the 2014 World Cup Final match between Germany and Argentina that was decided in 112th minute.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was phenomenal, defending the ball, fighting against brutal blows that left him bloodied. Schweinsteiger was upset when the referee refused to punish Argentina for its rough play but he returned to the game after his face was cleaned up and valiantly defended against Argentina, determined to play a decisive role in his team’s victory. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove for the best 2014 goalkeeper.
Germany and Argentina played to a scoreless first half, then a scoreless regulation game, although both teams came close to scoring too many times to count. The German team played somewhat disjointedly at first, before settling into its trademark high energy, defensive style of play, for which Argentina had few answers.
As the stadium in Brazil came alive with a sea of mostly Argentinian fans, both teams played with a single-minded focus to win the 2014 World Cup and take the trophy home to their homeland. The German team came into the final match as heavy favorites based on its performance during the tournament, while the team from Argentina was motivated to win it all in Brazil, the country of their main nemesis.
The game featured edge-of-seat action throughout and did not lack for rich entertainment value, wrought as it was with high emotions for the Germans who aimed to win a fourth title while their competitors aimed for their third. All of the top players from both teams had good touches on the ball, giving them different opportunities to score during the regulation period but somehow they all failed to score until extra time.
For Argentina, it will undoubtedly be a time of profound reflection and reorganization as they take steps to create a cohesive team rather than try in vain to focus exclusively on Lionel Messi. As the Germans showed so effectively, it takes a team to win the FIFA World Cup. Nothing less will do.–OnPointPress.net.