Mario Götze scored a superb extra-time winner as Germany beat
Argentina 1-0 to become the first European team to win a World Cup held
in South America on Sunday. Bayern Munich star Götze struck in the 113th
minute to finally break Argentina's resistance as Lionel Messi's dream
of emulating Diego Maradona ended in defeat.
The decisive moment of a World Cup brimming with wonderful goals came with penalties looming in front of 74,738 fans at Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana Stadium. Andre Schürrle burst clear down the left flank and crossed for Götze.
The 22-year-old took the ball on his chest and then volleyed past Sergio Romero to spark delirium amongst the largely pro-German crowd. Argentina and Messi were left squandering a handful of gilt-edged chances, including one that fell to Messi in the second half.
Messi was largely anonymous for most of the evening and his miserable evening was summed up when a late free-kick to equalise sailed over the bar. An absorbing first half saw Germany forced into a reshuffle moments before kick-off with inexperienced Christoph Kramer replacing Sami Khedira after the Real Madrid star injured a calf in the warm up.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger running midfield the Germans laid siege to Argentinian territory, passing smoothly and denying Messi a route into the game. Yet for all Germany's early dominance they created little in the way of clear chances.