A month ago, there were 32 teams in Brazil fighting for the famous Jules Rimet trophy. Two weeks later, there were 16 left still clashing for the title of World Cup Champions. A week later, there were 8 dreamers that firmly believed that this year was their year. Then four days after that, there were only four left with the belief that they could be the ones whose names would be listed in the history books forever. And finally, four more days after that, there were two left. Today, on July 13th, 2014, these final two teams, Argentina and Germany, would viciously battle against each other to win the World Cup.
In the early stages of the tournament, Argentina was a team that dominated possession. However, much of this possession consisted of Argentina passing the ball among itself, rather than attacking the other team. In all of its games, Argentina would win by only one or two goals. Honestly, many were expecting more goals from the wealth that this team have in the attacking department; its “Fantastic Four” ( Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, and Sergio Aguero) are all considered world class strikers. However, the injuries of Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero as well as the attacking vigilance of other teams led the Argentineans to change their entire game strategy. In their last two games, they opted to defend the entire match and relied more on their counter attack to score. The Netherlands were able to handle this new strategy, keeping the Argentineans scoreless for nearly 120 minutes. The only question tonight is this: Will the Germans be able to do so too?
In contrast to the Argentineans new game strategy, the German’s strategy is completely different. They have always attacked. Throughout their games, they have attacked through a variety of means from intricate passes to simple dribbles to well-timed shots. The best example of their offensive prowess is in their game against Brazil. Germany would win 7-1 against what many considered the favorites to win the entire World Cup. Germany would constantly attack and score four goals in just six minutes. They would quickly take advantage of defensive mistakes, create their own chances, and in the end, completely dominate Brazil. Coming off this semi-final victory, Germany come into this World Cup final confident. And the last thing Argentina wants to do is play against a confident Germany.
The Germans would start the game with the usual chilling accuracy and thrilling quality that they always bring to the table. However, there were a few shaky moments when Germany’s passing nearly gave away a few goals. Argentinean Higuain would recieve the ball just outside the box, virtually by himself, from a German giveaway. Unfortunately for Argentina, Higuain couldn’t even get his shot on target.
At the end of the first half, Argentina would come away looking the more dangerous team. However, Germany would quickly crack down on Argentina’s game in the second half. Dominating possession, they would force Argentina into the all-too-familiar defensive cocoon in which they have played in previous games. Despite this, the Germans would still be unable to score and at the end of regulation time, the score remained 0-0.
Entering extra time, both teams regrouped and tried to play their best soccer. But because both teams were tired not only mentally but also physically, they both started to play more sloppily. And then Germany put Mario Gotze into the game. With a rested mind, he quickly made his impact on the game by scoring the first goal.
Andre Schurrle would run down the sides of the Argentinean defense before squeezing in a cross between two defenders to an unmarked Mario Gotze. Gotze would chest the ball down before quickly tapping the ball into the side netting of the goal, far past the goalkeeper’s reach.
The score would end 1-0 in Germany’s favor.
As sad Argentinean faces gave in to their tired bodies and collapsed on the pitch, the Germans raced around the field and crowded around their newly won trophy, dancing around it. The dreams of one nation were fulfilled while the hopes of another were dashed.
While both teams were fantastic, only one can win. And today that was Germany. I wish them a hearty congratulation for they are finally, after nearly two decades of trying, back at the top of the world. As for the Argentineans, I wish them luck. They played a great game and could even have won it if they had not squandered their opportunities. However, they, like the other 30 nations in this tournament, will have to regroup and think about their goals as a soccer team. Once that happens, Argentina will surely come back with a fresh new desire to win the World Cup. And hopefully, they will.
My Ending Thoughts: This has truly been a fantastic end to an amazing month of soccer. Though I have only witnessed three World Cups in my entire life, I have to say that this one is the best. This World Cup had an insane number of upsets, from Spain’s defeat to Brazil’s demolition to Costa Rica’s unexpected success. It was powerful and immensely moving. I can only hope to witness another as great as this one. Brazil has done a fantastic job and for nearly a month, I felt as if I was on a break from my summer vacation. Thank you Brazil! Thank you World Cup! I’ll see you next time in about four years.
And thank you to those readers who actually read this insanely long article.
I can’t exactly give this one to anyone else. Germany’s entire team tried to break down Argentina for 112 minutes. They couldn’t. But this man did. He ultimately won the World Cup for Germany.
- Score: 1 (GER)- 0 (ARG)
Goals: Gotze (GER)- 113th minute