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2014 WORLD CUP - FINAL: Germany edge Argentina to clinch fourth World Cup

Germany have taken out the 2014 FIFA World Cup by beating Argentina 1-0 in the final in extra-time at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Joachim Low's die Mannschaft ran out deserved winners of the 2014 cup after being the best team throughout the tournament but Alejandro Sabella's Albiceleste can feel harshly done by after only ever falling behind once during the cup.

It was a perfect day for football in Rio and the crowd inside the Maracana was making some deafening noise, made possible mainly by the travelling hoards of Argentines.

After full-time ended 0-0, 22-year old Mario Gotze netted the only goal of the fierce contest in the 113th minute.

The Bayern Munich star, who had replaced World Cup record goalscorer Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute, controlled an Andre Schurrle cross with his chest before hitting a first-time left-footed volley past Sergio Romero from an angle.

It was a stunning goal and a deserved way for the Germans to take out their fourth cup after last beating the Argentines 1-0 in Italy in 1990.

It was an exhilarating match played at a frenetic pace at times with both sides having strong chances to score.

In just the fourth minute, Gonzalo Higuain was just inches wide with his angled effort which sent a shiver down the spine of the Germans.

Just over 15 minutes later, Higuain should have put Argentina ahead when he pounced on a poor header from Toni Kroos, which was meant for Manuel Neuer, but the Napoli striker put his effort wide when clear in on goal.

On the half-hour mark, Higuain had the ball in the back of the net when slotting home a nice cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi but the goal was rightly disallowed as the attacker was clearly offside.

In the 37th minute, Thomas Muller advanced down the left before picking out Schurrle but Romero was up to it with a brilliant diving save to deny the German substitute who had come on to replace Christoph Kramer after he suffered a head injury in a heavy collision with Ezequiel Garay.

On 40 minutes, Jerome Boateng came to the rescue by flinging himself at the ball to clear any danger close to the goal-line after another strong run from Lionel Messi.

Mesut Ozil teed up Kroos just outside the area but his first-time attempt was well-held by Romero before Benedikt Howedes' header from a Kroos corner late in the half slammed into the upright before deflecting off Muller and into the grateful hands of Romero.

Early in the second half, Messi was agonisingly close when sending an effort only slightly wide of Neuer's left post from the right side - a chance he usually gobbles up.

In the 83rd minute, a pitch invader approached Howedes before security nabbed him which came prior to Romero being well-positioned to keep out Schurrle's shot with a double-handed save.

Argentina often looked menacing every time they advanced early in the match but the German defence slowly got on top and that defensive pressure paid dividends down the other end of the pitch when Gotze delivered the killer blow.

It was the first time Argentina had been behind in the entire World Cup but you cannot say the Germans did not thoroughly deserve to go ahead.

In the third World Cup final meeting between the two nations, die Mannschaft came out on top for the second time to add to their narrow victory over La Albiceleste 24 years ago, giving them a fourth World Cup trophy.

2014 FIFA World Cup - Final

Germany: 1 (Mario Gotze 113') Argentina: 0

Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 74,738

Yellow cards:GER - Bastian Schweinsteiger 29', Benedikt Howedes 34' ARG - Javier Mascherano 64', Sergio Aguero 65'


GER: Neuer (gk) - Boateng, Hummels, Howedes - Kroos, Lahm, Kramer (Schurrle 32'), Schweinsteiger, Ozil (Mertesacker 120') - Klose (Gotze 88'), Muller

ARG: Romero (gk) - Zabaleta, Garay, Demichelis, Rojo - Biglia, Mascherano, Perez (Gago 86') - Messi, Higuain (Palacio 77'), Lavezzi (Aguero 46')

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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