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An extra-time goal from Mario Gotze secures the Fifa World Cup trophy for Germany, a truly deserving champion who played an outstanding campaign.

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By Afifah Ariffin | Goal Singapore

Mario Gotze's amazing goal in the second half of extra-time was enough to separate the two finalists, as Joachim Low's men end off their outstanding World Cup campaign as champions. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was crowned the best player of the tournament, but the Argentine skipper failed to shine for his side, who wrapped up their time in Brazil as runners-up.

Super Mario

Oh what it must feel like to be Mario Gotze right now! The 22-year-old is the undisputed hero of the night, scoring the only goal of the match, and sending his nation into complete delirium.

The Bayern Munich midfielder came off the bench to replace Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute of the game, and combined dangerously with fellow substitute Andre Schurrle to break the deadlock in extra-time. Schurrle lofted in a neat cross towards the near post, before Gotze excellently volleyed home the match winner, brutally ending Argentina’s World Cup dreams.

It was definitely an error that Argentina will deeply regret, as Gotze’s brilliant finish ensured that a European nation secured a first World Cup win on South American soil.


Game of hard knocks

It all began with Christopher Kramer, the last minute replacement for Sami Khedira, who started his first ever World Cup game last night. The young midfielder offered plenty of work rate in the first half, but only lasted on the pitch for half an hour, after his head collided with Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay. Kramer watched his dream final turned to dust, as he was not able to shake off the knock and had to be helped off the pitch.

Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain’s night certainly did not go in his favour. The Napoli striker missed a one-on-one and saw a goal correctly ruled for offside. And to add fuel to the fire, a long ball over the top from Zabaleta saw Neuer stride to the edge of his box, colliding heavily into Higuan as he punched the ball away. El pipita was completely furious, remonstrating loudly against the referee’s decision, before going down in need of treatment.

Bastian Schweinsteiger lated received a hard knock from the game, after taking the worst of an aerial challenge against Sergio Aguero in extra-time. The German midfielder needed to be stitched up on the sidelines, as blood continued gushing out from just below his right eye.


Messi failed to shine

Lionel Messi’s entered the finals with his legacy on the line. The Barcelona star has won almost everything there is to win in his incredible career so far, from his three Champions League titles with his club to four consecutive Ballons d'Or, and the World Cup is the only trophy standing in his way of becoming the greatest footballer of all time.

The Argentine skipper has carried his team single-handedly throughout the competition, most evidently seen in the group stages when the Barcelona star scored four times to see them through into the knockout round. But his goals dimmed with his performances as the tournament progressed, as he failed to score for his side from then on.

Messi featured prominently in the first half of last night’s clash, tearing apart Germany’s defence at times, and leaving the likes of Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes chasing shadows, but his dominance seemed to wear off as the match progressed.

La Albiceleste were given a final chance equalise in the dying minutes of extra-time after a Schweinsteiger foul, and Argentina fans looked hopefully to their captain to send the game into penalties. The 27-year-old stepped up, but tragically lashed the free kick into the stands.

But while the Barcelona ace finished on the losing side in Rio de Janeiro, Messi was nonetheless recognised for his individual excellence in Brazil, and ends off his World Cup campaign as the winner of the Golden Ball award.

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