World Cup Final: Germany Beats Argentina 1-0 in Extra Time

German players celebrate their 1-0 World Cup victory in extra time during the final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.

This was it, baby: The 2014 World Cup final. Germany vs. Argentina from Rio de Janeiro's legendary Maracana stadium. Eternal glory awaiting the winner; massive disappointment awaiting the loser.
Would Germany complete what's felt since 2010 like an inevitable march toward its fourth World Cup title? Or would Lionel Messi enter the true pantheon of soccer greats by leading Argentina to victory?
Tied after 105 minutes, Germany used a late, late goal from substitute Mario Götze in the second half of extra time to secure its fourth World Cup title in most dramatic fashion.
News, goals, GIFs, analysis — we've got it all in our live post here. Read on in reverse chronological order to relive a hard-fought final that did a thrilling World Cup much justice.

Congratulations, Germany

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Argentina

German players celebrate after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Mario Goetze volleyed in the winning goal in extra time to give Germany its fourth World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday.
And that it's: Germany wins on a 1-0 final to take its fourth World Cup title. Congratulations to Germany, deserving champions indeed.
Condolences to Argentina and Messi, who took La Albiceleste farther than he ever had before but fell just short at the end.

Goooal! Germany takes 1-0 lead in 113th minute

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Mario Goetze of Germany scores his team's first goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Germany substitute Mario Götze puts it in the back of the net with a late goal — and a beautiful one at that — to put Argentina on the ropes.

Uh-oh, Argentina.

15 minutes to penalties?

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Ezequiel Garay of Argentina tackles Miroslav Klose of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The struggle continues. After the first 15 minutes of extra time passed relatively uneventfully, things are still knotted at 0-0 at the Maracana. Players seem to be tiring — understandably so, of course — so it looks like this thing juuust might be decided by penalties.
Still 15 minutes left to prove that theory wrong, however. Let's see what the soccer gods have in store.

Cue the dramatic music: We're headed for extra time

Manuel Neuer, Lionel Messi

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, bottom saves a ball by Argentina's Lionel Messi, center, during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Epic. Tense gets tenser. Still tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes, we're going to 30 minutes of extra time.

Hold on to your butts, people.

Destined for extra time?

In the 86th minute, we've still got no score, although Argentina just dodged a bullet in a scramble near its goal. Messi also went goal-hunting with this strong left foot in the 75th minute, but was well wide of the net.
This thing is a struggle, folks.

20 minutes to go in an enthralling match

Still tied at 0-0 as we hit the 70-minute mark, but you really can't complain. Howler magazine and Sam Borden of The New York Times sum it up well so far.

We'll see what the final 20 minutes bring.

Neuer gets off easy?

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Germany collides with Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina.
An ugly collision between German goalie Neuer and Argentine forward Higuain shortly before the 60th minute.
Higuain was called for a foul even though it certainly looked like a reckless play by Neuer, and one you imagine he could have been booked for. Meanwhile, ESPN got this money shot of Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in front of the setting sun.

Epic — just epic — location for a World Cup final.

Aguero comes on for Argentina to start second half

Sergio Aguero, a dangerous goal-scoring threat for Argentina, subbed on to start the second half in place of Ezequiel Lavezzi. Meanwhile, Messi was *thisclose* to putting one in for Argentina in the 47th minute.
You know plenty of German hearts skipped a beat there.

No goals, but one hell of a half

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Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta tries to kick the ball away from Germany's Miroslav Klose, left and Thomas Mueller (13) during the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Up-and-down. Back-and-forth. Fast-paced. Aggressive. Optimistic. Take your pick of superlative — this was an awesome first that just wrapped up with a 0-0 score. But it's been a thoroughly entertaining first 45 minutes and you can't ask for more from a World Cup final.
Both sides had close calls near the net as the half would down, including the almost-goal above from Argentina and the Germany header below that nearly went in but was negated anyway by an offsides call.
Meanwhile, here are your first-half stats.

If things hold, we're in for a treat of a second half.


A goal by Higuaín off a beautiful pass from Messi was called back as offsides in the 30th minute. So close to redemption for Higuaín — but not meant to be, and instead his second gaffe of the game.
Still, Argentina making threats as we approach the half.

A miss that could come back to haunt Argentina

Gonzalo Higuaín was gifted a one-on-one opportunity against German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after an ugly turnover in the 19th minute, but he shanked his shot to the left.
That's a blown opportunity that could well come back to haunt the Argentines.


APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Argentina

Germany's Christoph Kramer gets hit in the face by Argentina's Ezequiel Garay shoulder in World Cup final.
Kramer took a nasty shot to the head in the 17th minute. Yikes.
He returned to the game though — but it's just latest blow to the head that will only increase the debate surrounding concussion and head-injury protocol in soccer. In the 30th minute, however, Kramer came off the pitch looking woozy and won't return. The head-injury debate rages on.

Argentina sitting back so far, but look at Messi run

No big surprises to start things off as Argentina begins sitting back defensively while looking to counterattack. Twelve minutes in and we have no major news, but Messi did show his dangerousness with a long run that ultimately didn't produce anything. Still though, just further proof of what we already knew: Watch out for Messi.

Game. On.

The ball has been kicked and the World Cup final is underway. Glory awaits in 90 minutes (plus maybe 30 minutes of extra time, then plus maybe penalty kicks on top of that, but you know). Argentina takes the field in its dark blue away kits, Germany in its home whites.
Also of note: A last-minute lineup change for Germany as midfielder Sami Khedira reportedly strained his calf in warmups and was replaced by the inexperienced Christoph Kramer, making just his second international start, in the opening lineup.
Meanwhile, if you're watching in the USA, where ABC didn't show the pre-match festivities, here's some Shakira.

4 big questions


Argentina's Lionel Messi, center, Maxi Rodriguez, left, and Fernando Gago, right, take part in an official training session at Vasco da Gama Stadium a day before the World Cup soccer final between Germany and Argentina in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014.
The answers to these questions will likely determine the outcome of this match.
  1. Can Germany stop Messi from being his most spectacular self, and limit to just being, you know, really really really good?
  2. Can Argentina keep its defensive shape early and avoid an early goal by Germany's balanced attack?
  3. Can Argentina find another playmaker to help Messi create opportunities? Higuain and Aguero are excellent finishers, and Mascherano is a fantastic midfielder, but none of those players are especially dangerous in creating opportunities from nothing.
  4. Argentina enters this match on one less day of rest than Germany, and following 30 minutes of extra time and penalty kicks in its semifinal against the Netherlands on Wednesday. Will that extra work and relative lack of rest be a factor?

Your World Cup final starting lineups

They're out! The biggest news: Angel di Maria, a key play-maker for Argentina, starts on the bench with an injured thigh that kept him out of the semifinal. A big blow for Argentina, but hopefully he'll be able to sub in later.

Pre-game reading: Odds and ends

Here are a few links from around the web to help you kill time before the final gets underway:
  • More than a billion people from around the world are expected to watch on TV, according to the BBC. So, you know, no pressure.
  • The World Cup runs on thousands of volunteers. But as the tournament winds down, many of them feel like they've been shafted by FIFA and World Cup organizers.
  • Remember Fred, the Brazilian striker fans love to hate? He just announced his retirement from the national team after a disastrous World Cup campaign.
  • Google has a predictably cute Google Doodle celebrating the World Cup as a whole.

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