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FIFA World Cup Final: Argentina vs. Germany Match Review

The World Cup final was a tight affair, settled by a Mario Gotze goal in extra time.

Clive Rose

Germany became the first European team to win in South America with a close 1-0 win over Argentina. Both teams had chances, but in the end, Germany were the only ones who put the ball in the net.

First Half

The biggest news before the match was that Angel Di Maria was not fit enough to start for Argentina, while Sami Khedira was dropped due to a late injury for Cristoph Kramer.

Kramer himself had to come off due to a blow to the head. On stepped Andre Schurrle.

In the first half, Argentina probably had the closer calls. Gonzalo Higuain benefited from a poor headed backpass, but could not capitalize on his amazing chance, putting the ball wide.

Higuain did put the ball in the net, after great buildup from Messi and Lavezzi, but he was offside, so the score did not count.

Messi terrorized Howedes on the right flank, and nearly scored, but he had little support, as Boateng cleared a cross/shot that was waiting invitingly for an Argentine to tap in.

Before the halftime whistle, Germany had their clearest chance to score. From a corner, Howedes headed a ball that rocked the post. The ball bounced off a German player and Romero saved it on the line. Upon review, the second bounce came from an offside player, but the Howedes chance would have counted.

Second Half

Sabella made a bold move at halftime, taking off Lavezzi, more of a winger or midfielder, and putting on Sergio Aguero, more of a striker.

Messi was the next to come closest, timing his run perfectly, but his shot bent just wide of Neuer's right hand-post.

From then, both teams were cautious, neither really springing any big chances until the end of extra time. Both managers made substitutions to refresh the legs of their teams, neither really upsetting the balance from then on.

Extra Time

In extra time, Romero was forced into a few saves, and on the other end, Rodrigo Palacio's chip went over Neuer's head but fell next to the goalposts, rather than in the net.

In the second period, the breakthrough finally came. Mario Gotze, who came on as a substitute, was let free. A mental error from the Argentine defense, but Gotze's finishing was calm and collected - in contrast to the Argentine forwards. He brought the ball down excellently and hit it past Romero.

Argentina threw men forward, but in honesty, they did not have another key chance.

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