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World Cup Final 2014 Review - Germany vs Argentina

Updated on August 29, 2014
Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan has been an avid fan of the English Premier League and European football for more than 20 years.

Philipp Lahm lifts the World Cup for Germany.
Philipp Lahm lifts the World Cup for Germany. | Source

Germany 1-0 Argentina (a.e.t.)

  • Goals: Mario Götze (113')
  • Assists: Andre Schurrle
  • Man of the Match: Mario Götze

Germany claimed their fourth World Cup with an empathic goal in extra time from Mario Götze. The 22 year old latched onto an Andre Schurrle cross to chest and volley a sublime strike into the far corner of Sergio Romero's goal.

It was an end-to-end game with numerous chances for both teams. Early in the first half, a terrible Toni Kroos header left Gonzalo Higuain 1-on-1 with Manuel Neuer, but the Argentine striker snatched at the shot, sending it wide. Just before half time, Benedikt Howedes rose to meet a corner, but only managed to hit the post with his header.

Germany dominated possession with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm standing a class above the rest. However, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lionel Messi were excellent for Argentina, and their penetrating runs almost made the difference. Lavezzi was substituted by the much less effective, Sergio Aguero, who was lucky to remain on the pitch after committing two card-worthy fouls. Javier Mascherano was also walking a tight-rope in the second half.

Lionel Messi had a good chance to score early in the second half, but he fired across goal after being put through by Lucas Biglia. Kroos then wasted some good opportunities for Germany in his worst performance of the tournament. The hugely impressive substitute, Andre Schurrle, looked dangerous throughout and had two efforts saved by Sergio Romero. Late in the game, Rodrigo Palacio missed for Argentina with his disappointing lob sailing wide of the post.

As extra time wore on, and penalties looked likely, it was a run from Andre Schurrle that made the breakthrough. He glided down the left flank while Mario Götze ran infield to open up space for the winger. Schurrle lifted a cross onto the chest of Götze and the young German fired a left footed shot into the far corner from close range. Germany closed out the game to deservedly win the 2014 World Cup!

Who was your man of the match in the World Cup final?

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Mario Gotze celebrates scoring in the World Cup final.
Mario Gotze celebrates scoring in the World Cup final. | Source

Germany vs Argentina Statistics

 
Germany
Argentina
Goals
1
0
Shots
10
10
Shots on target
7
2
Attacks
64
30
Corners
5
3
Crosses
27
14
Work rate
112.1 km
102.8 km
Passes
915
586
Pass Completion
80%
71%
Possession
60%
40%
Saves
2
6
Fouls
20
16
Yellow Cards
2
2
Red Cards
0
0
Statistics from FIFA.

Though all of the statistics favor Germany, what's missing from this quantitative analysis is the quality of chances that Argentina had. Gonzalo Higuain should have scored when he was through on goal. Messi and Palacio also had very good chances.

Germany vs Argentina Line Ups

Germany:

Manuel Neuer. Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Howedes, Christoph Kramer (32'), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil (120'). Miroslav Klose (88').

Subs: Zieler, Grosskreutz, Ginter, Schurrle (32'), Podolski, Draxler, Durm, Mertesacker (120'), Gotze (88'), Weidenfeller.

Argentina:

Sergio Romero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo, Enzo Perez (86'), Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Ezequiel Lavezzi (45'), Gonzalo Higuain (78'), Lionel Messi.

Subs: Orion, Campagnaro, Gago (86'), Di Maria, Rodriguez, Augusto Fernandez, Federico Fernandez, Palacio (78'), Alvarez, Aguero (45'), Basanta, Andujar.

Golden Boot Winner

James Rodriguez scored his last goal of the World Cup against Brazil. Rodriguez won the Golden Boot with 6 goals.
James Rodriguez scored his last goal of the World Cup against Brazil. Rodriguez won the Golden Boot with 6 goals. | Source

The top scorer in the 2014 World Cup with 6 goals was Colombia's attacking midfielder, James Rodriguez. As a result, Rodriguez won the prestigious Golden Boot trophy. Both Thomas Muller and Lionel Messi were hoping to equal or surpass that number in the final, but they were unable to add to their tallies. Muller was bidding to become the first player to win the Golden Boot twice, after claiming the prize four years previously.

Golden Boot
Germany
Argentina
James Rodriguez - 6
Thomas Muller - 5
Lionel Messi - 4
Thomas Muller - 5
Andre Schurrle - 3
Gonzalo Higuain - 1
Neymar - 4
Miroslav Klose - 2
Angel Di Maria - 1
Lionel Messi - 4
Toni Kroos - 2
Marcos Rojo - 1
Robin Van Persie - 4
Mats Hummels - 2
OG (own goal) - 1
Karim Benzema - 3
Mario Gotze - 2
 
Andre Schurrle - 3
Mesut Ozil - 1
 
Arjen Robben - 3
Sami Khedira - 1
 
Enner Valencia - 3
 
 
Xerdan Shaqiri - 3
 
 

Other FIFA Awards

Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove. Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball.
Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove. Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball. | Source

Manuel Neuer was rightly awarded the Golden Glove award for being the best goalkeeper in the tournament. Lionel Messi was controversially awarded the Golden Ball trophy for being the best player. A number of pundits have suggested that other players performed better. Have your vote below:

Who should have won the Golden Ball?

See results

Route to the World Cup Final

It all began with the Brazil 2014 opening ceremony.
It all began with the Brazil 2014 opening ceremony. | Source

Germany and Argentina topped their groups with 7 and 9 points respectively, though Germany's group was seen as more difficult. Before the final, neither team had lost a game at this World Cup, but both had been held to a draw once within 120 minutes.

 
Germany
Argentina
Group stage
(W) 4-0, Portugal
(W) 2-1, Bosnia
Group stage
(D) 2-2, Ghana
(W) 1-0, Iran
Group stage
(W) 1-0, USA
(W) 3-2, Nigeria
Last-16
(W) 2-1, Algeria
(W) 1-0, Switzerland
Quarter final
(W) 1-0, France
(W) 1-0, Belgium
Semi final
(W) 7-1, Brazil
(D-p) 0-0, Holland
W = win, D = draw, L = loss, D-p = win on penalties.
The final was held at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
The final was held at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. | Source

Brief History of Germany vs Argentina

This was the third World Cup final to be played between Germany and Argentina. In 1986, Argentina won 3-2 with the help of Diego Maradona. Four years later, Germany got their revenge with a 1-0 win.

Argentina have won the World Cup twice in their history, with victories in 1978 and 1986. Germany have now won four World Cups, with their celebrations coming in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014. With little deviation, Germany appear to win a World Cup every 20 years.

Coming into the final, the head-to-head statistics favored Argentina. The Germans had won 6, drawn 5, and lost 9 of their 20 World Cup matches against the Argentinians, though, in terms of goals scored in those games, they were locked at 28 each.

Pre-Final Statistics for Germany and Argentina

Germany met Argentina for the 3rd time in a World Cup final.
Germany met Argentina for the 3rd time in a World Cup final. | Source
 
Germany
Argentina
Goals scored
17
8
Goals conceded
4
3
Goals scored from set pieces
3
1
Goal attempts
87
95
Attempts on target
64
61
Crosses
121
160
Passes
3421
2928
Pass completion
82%
78%
Tackles
92
104
Fouls
71
64
Saves
24
15
Work rate
695.8 km
683.5 km
Likeliest time to score
15-30 mins
0-15 mins
Statistics from FIFA.

Throughout the tournament, Germany and Argentina had both sought to maintain a tight defense by controlling possession. This resulted in similar goals conceded and pass completion statistics. However, Germany's offense had been much more prolific. Argentina had failed to find their offensive rhythm, winning most of their matches by a single goal and averaging only 1.3 goals per game. In comparison, Germany had scored an average of 2.8 goals per game.

Lionel Messi was in tears after losing the World Cup final.
Lionel Messi was in tears after losing the World Cup final. | Source

The statistics suggested that Germany would be lifting the World Cup when the teams met on July 13th. Furthermore, their 7-1 demolition of Brazil in the semi final had made them the firm favorite. As a result, twice as many of you correctly predicted that Germany would win the World Cup:

Who will win the 2014 World Cup?

  • 68% Germany
  • 32% Argentina
19 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Summary

With all due respect to Argentina, Germany deserved to win the World Cup. They played the best football and they had a squad of players operating at the peak of their potential. Highly influential players like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Thomas Muller pulled the strings, making them the best team at the tournament.

Argentina had a lot to offer, but their array of attacking talent once again failed to produce the attractive football that the world expects. Higuain and Aguero didn't perform, leaving Messi as the sole goal-threat. Di Maria and Lavezzi showed some flair, but they have never been natural goalscorers. Javier Mascherano deserves credit for his displays in defensive midfield, as does Ezequiel Garay in central defense. Perhaps the story of this World Cup is the emergence or ascension of young players like James Rodriguez, Mario Gotze, Paul Pogba. and Neymar.

Overall, the World Cup has given us a great month of entertainment and a surprising number of goals. In all, 171 goals were scored at a rate of 2.67 goals per game. In the previous World Cup there were only 145 goals at a rate of 2.3 per game.

© 2014 Thomas Swan

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a great job you've done here. I've been waiting for more WC hubs because I know we have many Futbol fans here. Congrats.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Nice Hub again, Thomas. Yesterday my country (The Netherlands) was in mourning, because of the defeat against Argentina. The Argentinians are good, but it is still a collection of ego's - not a cohesive team like the Germans. The superb German machine is in good shape, I bet they will win the match. And honestly I am happy the Dutch don't have to play them, the whole country would be in turmoil independent the outcome :)

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Kathleen! I think people are reluctant to do WC hubs because many of the big news sites do similar things, and because the hubs won't be evergreen. I plan to convert this hub into more of a historical hub about the WC final after the match though.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Cheers Buildreps! Yea, I heard about the rivalry between Netherlands and Germany. In England we like to think we're Germany's rivals (lol) but the Germans don't know what we're talking about!

      I agree, it's probably better to bow out on penalties in the semis. That was a really good run with the team you had, and it's a way to retain some pride. Van Gaal is a top manager and I hate that he's going to United (I'm an Arsenal fan). Getting to the final and losing badly to the Germans would have been devastating.

      Now it's a choice between the best team winning, or Brazilians crying some more lol. Win win!

    • TB Bullock profile image

      Thaddeus Byron Bullock Jr. 2 years ago from Clemson, South Carolina

      Good hub! I am an American, and am currently studying abroad in Argentina, so the experience regarding the world cup is certainly different for me. However, I have to say that Argentinian fans are far less arrogant and more sincere than those of Germany (at least those that I know, that much I will concede). Additionally, Germany has lost the [real] world cup twice (of course this is a joke), but seriously, the third time isn't looking good!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thomas: I know what you mean about being evergreen. I have one on the American ref Mark Geiger that I'm thinking of doing the same thing with next week.

      Would have loved to see US get to play this Argentina team. Our score against Germany isn't looking too bad after Brazil's match with them!

      TB: My daughter studied in Cordoba when she was at the University of Richmond. Where are you?

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      TB Bullock, I think most people will be naturally sympathetic to their hosts, but I can also agree with what you've said about the two sets of fans. Germans only seem to tolerate total victory. Argentinians just seem happy with whatever happens. Though, I have even less evidence to go on.

      Kathleen: That's interesting. In England, we'd never think of talking much about referee's, unless it's to criticize their mistakes. People say it's a terrible job to be on the end of so much abuse, but they're very well paid for what they do! ... and they get the best seat in the house. Argentina probably would have got another 1-0 win against USA. It's their habit, but Germany's attack should be too much for them finally. USA vs Brazil might have been something though. I wish Colombia had played with confidence against Brazil, but they still seemed to think they were the inferior side.

    • TB Bullock profile image

      Thaddeus Byron Bullock Jr. 2 years ago from Clemson, South Carolina

      I'm in Cordoba also, at UBP, that's interesting! and @ Thomas Swan, yeah I definitely get where you're coming from.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I have updated the hub with a match report and statistics from the final. I thought the golden ball award shouldn't have gone to Messi, so I put in a poll so everyone can vote for who should have won. I also didn't think Gotze should have gotten man of the match (he only played 32 minutes!), so I made a poll for that too.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Nice work, finishing this Hub like this. I voted of course for Robben :)

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks buildreps. Well even if you're a little biased on that, it's certainly an acceptable choice. Robben was in the top 3 for me. Many other non-Dutch have said he was their man of the tournament. In terms of excitement on the ball, he was probably number one.

    • Matthew Hargis profile image

      Matthew Hargis 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for this.

    • Michael Jacobs profile image

      Michael Jacobs 2 years ago from Wirral, Merseyside

      Nice hub :) i don't think Mario Gotze was anywhere near Man of the match and overall had a fairly poor tournament. Germany did look a lot better when Lahm dropped to right back (a shame he has now retired from internationals)

      Totally agree with your analysis on Argentina, would love to know what you think of the other teams World cup performances such as Brazil and Belgium.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Michael. Exactly, if it wasn't for his goal, Gotze wouldn't have gotten a look in. I thought Lahm and Schweinsteiger were a class above the rest. I agree that Lahm looked better at RB. He comes into central areas anyway and still manages to defend.

      I thought the Brazil defeat was coming tbh. Scolari is to blame for their success and their humiliation. He built up their confidence to such an extent that it was like a rubber band waiting to snap when the pressure got too much. Germany were `too much'. With their lack of talent, it's remarkable Brazil got as far as they did. Scolari deserves credit. His choice of attackers left something to be desired though. Hulk and Fred were consistently terrible (Hulk has been for years), but he kept picking them.

      Belgium were just too slow in making it to the opposition goal, but I think Wilmots recognized it. He tried to play Origi more in the latter stages. Still, after Lukaku's performance in extra time against the USA, he should have played against Argentina. Mirallas should have been used to provide pace from the left, and Hazard should have played centrally. They should have gotten Hazard on the ball at every opportunity.

    • Michael Jacobs profile image

      Michael Jacobs 2 years ago from Wirral, Merseyside

      Without Thiago Silva and Neymar i agree Brazil looked very ordinary. Oscar tried a few things but even against Holland they looked tired and devoid of ideas. Hulk, for his lack of quality, did at least look like he wanted to win and kept trying. Fred should not be anywhere near a top team and no surprise he has retired from internationals! Marcelo and David Luis played terribly - Brazil would have been better off with Oscar/Hulk in defense and Luis/Marcelo up front!

      A lot of hype over Belgium which was why i mentioned them, maybe cause they have a lot of players in the Premier League. No team with Origi & Lukaku as their strikers is gonna win the world cup though. We'll never know if a Benteke inspired Belgium could have made it further. Agree Hazard should have played in the center, De Bruyne did well but Hazard is a player who can make a real difference.

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