‘˜Super sub’, Mario Goetze ended Germany’s 24-year wait for another World Cup title as his winning goal in extra time handed a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday.
‘Super sub’, Mario Goetze ended Germany’s 24-year wait for another World Cup title as his winning goal in extra time handed a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday in a tight and tense World Cup final that came down to one piece of individual skill.
Bayern Munich star Goetze, who wasn’t born when West Germany beat Argentina in the 1990 final, controlled a cross with his chest in the 113th minute and in one fluid motion volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Romero and inside the far post.
It was a goal that gave Germany their fourth World Cup title in their eighth final, and left Argentina star Lionel Messi in the shadows of his compatriot Diego Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 title.
Forward Andre Schuerrle broke down the left flank, sending his cross into the area, and the Bayern Munich player did the rest with a clinical finish. The goal reminded that of Spaniard Andres Iniesta’s four years ago, when the midfielder scored in similar fashion but from the other side of the area to give Spain a 1-0 extra time win over the Netherlands.
For Germany, the win ends a string of near misses since winning their last major title at the 1996 European Championship. The team lost the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil and lost in the semi-finals in both 2006 and 2010. It is Germany’s first World Cup title as a unified nation and became the first European nation to win in South America.
In the biggest game of his career, Lionel Messi came up short. He had one good chance to score when he was sent free in the area just after the halftime break, but sent his shot wide of the far post. It was a difficult angle, but still the type of chance he so often scores from. When the final whistle blew, Germany players collapsed in a pile in the middle of the pitch, while Messi walked with his hands on his hips toward the center circle.
Up until the winning goal, the game was more notable for top-class defending than creative attacking, but both teams had their share of chances. Gonzalo Higuain wasted an opportunity by firing wide when gifted a chance in a one-on-one with Neuer, and later had a goal ruled out for offside. Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes hit the post just before halftime with a header from a corner, and ineffective finishing plagued both sides the rest of the way.
For Lionel Messi, this night will haunt him forever thanks to the former’s inept shooting in front of goal. This was the night to prove his worth to the world but sadly, he has another four years to wait to be counted in the same breath as Diego Maradona and Pele.