The 2014 World Cup Final lived up to the hype created throughout the tournament, with both teams playing brilliantly. Extra time was necessary for the third consecutive World Cup, but this time penalties were not required.
Germany looked to be in control from the start, with their lineup only sporting one change from the 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the Semifinals, as Sami Khedira started on the bench with a calf issue. Argentina was missing Angel Di Maria, but a team including Higuain and Lionel Messi surely had enough firepower to win a match, especially with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero being a potential super sub on the bench.
The Germans were dominant at first, controlling the ball well and cutting up the Argentine defense, although Javier Mascherano played brilliantly for La Albiceleste to keep them in the match. It seemed as if the only chances Messi and company had came on the counter attack or off any miscues Germany made. Early on, Argentina had a chance when Toni Kroos mistakenly headed the ball into the path of Higuain, but the forward was incredibly poor with the finish and the score remained level. The first half was tense, with both sides exchanging chances and tempting fate with the offside rule, yet Germany still seemed to be the team to win.
After halftime, Argentina came out firing, hoping to inspire their fans and make an impact that would see them crowned World Champions, however the Germans defense remained strong. The match remained level at the end of regulation, and so extra time or penalties would decide another World Cup Final.
Chelsea’s own André Schürrle had come on in the 31st minute for the (likely) concussed Christoph Kramer, and had made quite the impact throughout the match. His role, however, was to come to a head late on in Extra Time. As Germany broke on the counter attack in the 113th minute, the young forward saw compatriot Mario Götze unmarked in the box. Schürrle fired an inch perfect cross into the box, Götze played a brilliant controlling off his chest, stretched out and volleyed a brilliant ball past Romero for arguably the goal of the tournament, and the latest winning goal ever scored in the tournament final. If you’re going to score a World Cup winner, you might as well do it in style, and the link up between Schürrle and Götze was nothing short of spectacular.
Germany had captured their 4th World Cup title in thrilling fashion, and Chelsea will enter the season with at another World Cup winning forward on their team.
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