The 2014 World Cup final as it happened as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in extra-time in Rio - Live coverage - The Independent

The 2014 World Cup final as it happened as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in extra-time in Rio

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of what was the 2014 World Cup final. Sam Dymond was on hand with all the action from the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro as Mario Gotze's extra-time goal saw Germany edge out Argentina to be crowned world champions.


    GERMANY 1 (Gotze 113')

    • Final kicked-off at 8pm at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro
    • Both nations named unchanged teams following their semi-final successes
    • Christoph Kramer replaces injured Sami Khedira in German midfield before kick-off
    • Gonzalo Higuain has first half goal correctly disallowed for offside
    • Game ends goalless after 90 minutes
    • Substitute Mario Gotze scores winner in second period of extra-time
    • Lionel Messi wins Golden Ball award while Manuel Neuer receives Golden Glove
    • Colombia's James Rodriguez finishes as Golden Boot winner with six goals
    7/13/2014 2:21:19 PM
  • Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the World Cup final.

    Yes, after 32 days, 63 matches, 170 goals, countless celebrations, floods of tears, a cheeky bite and, at least, one ripped anus, we're here; the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

    Tonight’s venue may be the heart and soul of Brazilian football, but the hosts won’t be in attendance after those hearts were broken by, and those souls were sold to, the Germans on Tuesday night. Enough has been said and written about that 7-1 semi-final capitulation, but while Germany’s ruthless coming-together has destroyed the dreams of one nation, it has meant their own stand on the brink of World Cup success for a fourth time.

    Strangely enough, the only thing that could rub further salt into Brazil’s gaping wounds would be if Die Mannschaft failed to replicate their victory at this final stage. And that’s because their opponents tonight are the hosts’ fiercest of South American rivals, Argentina.

    La Albiceleste haven’t been crowned world champions since beating West Germany in 1986, and haven’t featured in the final of the tournament since losing to West Germany in 1990. Twenty-eight years ago, they had a certain Diego Maradona to drag them single-handedly, almost literally, to glory; if they are to follow suit in 2014, Argentina's latest genius, Lionel Messi, will surely have to produce one last piece of magic himself.

    So, for the third time – political history aside – Germany will meet Argentina in the final of the World Cup. Kick-off at the Maracana is at 8pm.

    I’m Sam Dymond, and I’ll be here to talk you through all the action from – before, during and after – the final. If you want to have your say on tonight’s game or the tournament as a whole, then either 'make a comment' using the facility above, tweet @sammydymond or send an old fashioned email to

    7/13/2014 2:12:20 PM
  • Let's dive straight in with Miguel Delaney's preview of this evening's encounter, and The Independent's man in Rio de Janeiro believes as brilliant as the Germans were as an attacking force in their semi-final, they will have to display a similar level of performance in defence to keep Argentina's Lionel Messi under control.

    Germany’s performance against Brazil reached a different level. There was no better display of the merits of their overall football culture. There may be no better display, full-stop.
    7/13/2014 3:41:15 PM
  • Presumably when Bastian Schweinsteiger speaks of the hospitality of Brazilians, he's referring to the generosity of David Luiz and Marcelo in midweek.

    7/13/2014 3:46:48 PM

  • As the World Cup final approaches and Messi attempts to inspire his Argentina team against Germany in the way El Diego did 28 years ago in Mexico, it is worth remembering just what a giant, figuratively speaking, he is attempting to follow. Maradona looms over the modern game whether you happen to come from Rotherham or Rosario, Messi’s home city that has an extraordinary lineage of footballers and freedom fighters.
    7/13/2014 4:04:04 PM
  • How have the German players been preparing for the biggest night of their lives since that thumping win in midweek? Well, let's see.

    The World's Most German Man, Thomas Muller: Now with added German.
    7/13/2014 4:11:06 PM
  • Are you a fan of condensing reasoning into High Fidelity style top fives? Of course you are. With that in mind, Joe Krishnan has compiled the reasons why Argentina will prevail in Rio this evening, while Jack De Menezes has the logic behind the Germans being surefire certainties to take the honours at the Maracana. 

    Mind you, Brazil's defenders would concede that there are seven reasons why Germany look good for glory; although all they've really done is concede this week.

    7/13/2014 4:32:25 PM
  • Germany will hope to be crowned world champions this evening for the first time since beating Argentina at Italia '90; the last time La Albiceleste reached the final of the World Cup. 

    So let's take a stroll down memory lane with a recap of that balmy summer's night in Rome 24 years ago. It's a must if you're a fan of dour defensive football, fouling, diving, complaining and general irritating behaviour.

    However, as poor a final as it was, the following highlights should remind us of two things. Firstly, how comforting the sounds of Brian Moore and Ron Atkinson once were, and secondly, how cool the German match-winner Andreas Brehme - a left-footed left-back - was in taking his late penalty right-footed.

    World Cup Final 1990 Argentina-West Germany (English commentary)
    by detonator2112 via YouTube
    7/13/2014 4:50:31 PM
  • Meanwhile, Independent reader Shabbir has written in with his thoughts ahead of tonight's final, and manages to plunge the knife into this Fulham and England fan by mentioning Premier League relegation and Costa Rica in the one email.

    "Although Germany look favourites to lift the trophy after thrashing Brazil 7 -1, having watched their previous games, I think they are highly overrated. In Football, any team can be the winner on any given day if there is a determination and team spirit. If you take the example of Costa Rica, who were underdogs when they started the World Cup but proved all the pundits wrong and made their country proud by defeating highly-rated teams. Similarly in the last English Premier League season we saw how Crystal Palace, on the brink of relegation, went on to beat the big teams. Argentina also have Messi, the best footballer in the world, and he can inspire the whole team to perform above average and beat the German Machine. My guess is it will be Argentina's day and it will be a very close contest."

    As long as it's an exciting very close contest and not a dull very close contest like that 1990 snoozefest below.
    7/13/2014 5:06:04 PM
  • It was a very close contest when the two nations first met in the final of the World Cup four years earlier in Mexico City. The 1986 showpiece was spookily settled by an 86th minute winner from Jorge Burruchaga as Argentina lifted the trophy for the second time.

    Once again, Brian Moore and Ron Atkinson were on the microphones (thankfully for Big Ron switched off correctly during the advert breaks) while Diego Maradona starred for La Albiceleste against a German side featuring Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Lothar Matthäus, karate keeper Harald Schumacher and future Fulham fuhrer Felix Magath.

    29/06/1986 Argentina v West Germany
    by gr8footy via YouTube
    7/13/2014 5:23:55 PM
  • Closing ceremonies: the only events imaginable more boring than opening ceremonies.

    Still, our man inside the Maracana has dreamt up an idea to make it more exciting for the watching Rio de Janeiro police force.

    7/13/2014 5:30:43 PM
  • Funnily enough, I thought this had happened prior to this year's tournament...

    7/13/2014 5:35:01 PM
  • The closing ceremony continues inside the Maracana.

    *Insert joke here about Brazil's back four*

    7/13/2014 5:43:35 PM
  • FIFA offer a glimpse inside the Argentine dressing room...

    ...without charging for the privilege.
    7/13/2014 5:46:11 PM
  • The Germany and Argentina teams are in from the Maracana.

    Both Joachim Low and Alejandro Sabella name unchanged starting teams following their respective semi-final successes. It means that Mats Hummels has recovered from the tendonitis scare that forced his withdrawal at half-time against the Brazilians but Argentina's Angel Di Maria hasn't been so fortunate in his race to be fit. The Real Madrid winger has been absent since being forced off against Belgium in the quarter-finals, but left-back Marcos Rojo has been given the green light to feature despite missing training this week with an ankle complaint.

    Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Klose, Muller, Lahm, Kroos, Boateng

    Subs: Grosskreutz, Ginter, Schürrle, Podolski, Zieler, Draxler, Durm, Mertesacker, Götze, Weidenfeller, Kramer

    Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Biglia, Perez, Higuain, Messi, Mascherano, Demichelis, Rojo, Lavezzi

    Subs: Campagnaro, Gago, Di María, Rodríguez, Orión, A. Fernández, F. Fernández, Palacio, Álvarez, Agüero, Andujar, Basanta

    Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
    7/13/2014 5:58:20 PM
  • The first big decision of the night has been made. With both the BBC and ITV sharing live broadcasting rights of tonight’s final, the British viewer has a rare choice in their television coverage provider.

    When it comes to preferred punditry, it's an ironic no-brainer in this household. While ITV have undoubtedly upped their game this tournament, their decision to favour the diabolical Adrian Chiles ahead of the delightful Matt Smith in the anchor's chair means that we were always going to side with former Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker on the BBC. Plus there's no chance of them cutting to adverts at a pivotal moment.

    And there's further reason to stick with the Beeb with tonight's Match of the Day being the last in the 22 year punditry career of Alan Hansen. Like wing-backs and centre partings, the former Liverpool defender hasn't been much use in his role as analyst since the 1990s, but he was once a pioneer of the trade and his departure will be rightly applauded; not least by the BBC Make-Up department who will see their expenditure immediately halved.
    7/13/2014 6:27:05 PM
  • Let's take a look at some of the meaningful - and less meaningful - stats ahead of kick-off in Rio, courtesy of the Opta nerds and friends.

    7/13/2014 6:41:31 PM

    Sami Khedira has picked up a calf injury in the pre-match warm and will be replaced in midfield by Borussia Monchengladbach's Christoph Kramer.

    7/13/2014 6:50:26 PM
  • There's five minutes until kick-off at the Maracana...

    7/13/2014 6:55:00 PM
  • 7/13/2014 6:57:57 PM
  • That late injury to Sami Khedira, who was absolutely wonderful against Brazil, is a huge blow to German hopes, and was it reflected in some subdued national anthem singing? Or were the Germans just keeping their minds on the job at hand?

    Khedira's replacement in midfield, Christoph Kramer, is a fine player, but can he rise to this stage on his first competitive start for his country?
    7/13/2014 7:00:18 PM
  • KICK-OFF: Germany get their eighth World Cup final underway at the Maracana, kitted out in their all-white strip and playing from left to right. It's Die Mannschaft who make the running straight from kick-off, but Argentina's troops, dressed all in navy blue, sit deep and clear the early danger.

    Meanwhile, 61% of you who voted in our poll believe that the Germans will emerge victorious. One way or another, we'll find out in the next few hours. Brace yourself, it could be a long evening.

    7/13/2014 7:00:31 PM
  • 4 mins: The Germans bring the first cause for Argentine thought when Thomas Muller wins a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Five players stand over it as if they are about to conjure up something as imaginative as the slapstick ploy they tested out against the United States, but in the end it's blasted straight into the defensive wall. It immediately sparks a breakaway attack downfield from the South Americans that ends when Gonzalo Higuaín drives low across the face of Manuel Neuer's goal. It's a lively start in Rio.
    7/13/2014 7:06:22 PM
  • The Independent's Glenn Moore has ignored all the pre-match rigmarole to put his thinking cap on...

    A promising start, maybe this will be more like the 1986 final between these teams than the 1990. Let's hope so. Is  it a man against a team? Not quite. Mascherano, Romero, Zabaleta, Higuain and others are pretty important for Argentina, and some German players are more important than others, notably Muller, Schweinsteiger, Neuer and Kroos.  Khedira’s absence is a blow, and desperate luck for him having fought back from injury, and Reus is long absent. But Argentina will miss Di Maria and have a day’s less rest. 
    7/13/2014 7:08:39 PM
  • 9 mins: That's the first sight this evening of Lionel Messi and his abilities. The little Argentine escapes away from Mats Hummels on the right before checking back and beating the German defender again. He eventually tries to cut the ball back for Gonzalo Higuaín inside the box, but the Germany defence are all over it to clear.
    7/13/2014 7:10:21 PM
  • 12 mins: Ezequiel Lavezzi has noted the inroads that Messi made down the right wing moments ago, and follows suit by putting two balls into the German area from the flank in quick succession. The first is blocked by a defender while the second is dealt with by the safe hands of Manuel Neuer, but it's indicative of an open and attacking start to proceedings.
    7/13/2014 7:13:52 PM
  • 15 mins: Martin Demichelis makes a mess of a headed clearance inside his own penalty area, spooning the ball behind for a corner, but it's not because the Manchester City defender has rediscovered his comical form of the first half of last season. The sun is beaming into the Argentine six-yard box, and both Demichelis and Ezequiel Garay are currently struggling to deal with aerial balls played into the box against such a bright backdrop.
    7/13/2014 7:17:56 PM
  • 19 mins: Christoph Kramer's World Cup final dream nearly turns into a nightmare after the midfielder takes a hefty whack to the side of the head from Garay's shoulder as they challenged for a loose ball. However, after his teammates finally put the ball out of play so he can receive treatment, he's back on his feet and into the action, albeit looking slightly worse for wear.

    7/13/2014 7:20:27 PM
  • 21 mins: What a chance! What a miss! Gonzalo Higuain has wasted a brilliant chance to open the scoring. The Argentina striker was put through one-on-one with Neuer following Toni Kroos' awful header back towards his own goal, but he must have been taken by surprise at the opportunity. That's the only explanation for Higuain's subsequent dreadfully dragged finish from the edge of the box which trickled wide of the goalkeeper's right-hand post.

    7/13/2014 7:21:02 PM
  • 25 mins: Kroos and his teammates have regained their composure after that rare blunder which gifted Higuain the game's best opportunity so far. And they've started to test the Argentines at the back with some crisp football around the box, but Miroslav Klose - as of yet - has been unable to gain control in the area to bring others into play.
    7/13/2014 7:28:16 PM
  • 29 mins: The tongue-twisting name of Bastian Schweinsteiger becomes the first in referee Nicola Rizzoli's notebook this evening. The German midfielder has been cautioned for bringing down Ezequiel Lavezzi as he charged towards goal.
    7/13/2014 7:29:56 PM
  • 30 mins: DISALLOWED GOAL! Argentina have the ball in the back of the net, but it's not going to count! Gonzalo Higuain is celebrating, but his joy will be cut short by the linesman's flag on the far side. It was a much better finish from the Napoli striker following his earlier miss, but it's the correct call from the official. Lavezzi burst down the right and sent a delightful curling ball around Hummels, but Higuain had mistimed his run and was at least a year offside when he side footed past Neuer at the first attempt.

    Meanwhile, Christoph Kramer is going to depart early following his surprise start. The midfielder hasn't recovered from the big blow he took to the head, and looks groggy as he leaves the field with the help of the German medical staff. On in his place has come Andre Schürrle.

    7/13/2014 7:30:56 PM
  • The Independent's Glenn Moore...

    Intriguing rather than gripping so far, and signs that nerves are playing their part with Kroos’ inexplicable header to Higuain and the latter’s awful shot. Both sides are occasionally pressing high, but then dropping off quickly if they don’t get an instant turnover. So the pace has slowed and there is a sense we could do with a goal before the break, otherwise it could get a bit tentative and dull.

    7/13/2014 7:31:31 PM
  • 34 mins: Germany's feathers have been truly ruffled by events this evening, and that's clear from an awfully late lunge on Pablo Zabaletta by Benedikt Höwedes. It brings the Schalke defender a deserved yellow card.
    7/13/2014 7:38:41 PM
  • 37 mins: Andre Schürrle has bagged three goals having come off the subs' bench at this World Cup, and he nearly does it again within six minutes of entering the action. The Chelsea forward met Thomas Muller's clever cutback to the edge of the box with a first time thumper which was palmed away by Sergio Romero, having nearly taken Mesut Ozil's head off. To make matters worse for the Arsenal man, not only was he nearly decapitated, but he was also offside.
    7/13/2014 7:41:00 PM
  • 39 mins: Lionel Messi dances into the penalty area and is inches away from opening the scoring, having lifted the ball over Neuer, but - with other Argentines ready to convert the loose ball  - Jerome Boateng comes to the Germans' rescue by clearing with a hefty punt away.
    7/13/2014 7:43:43 PM
  • 43 mins: The game is really opening up again as we approach half-time, and after some fancy footwork from Ozil, a chance presents itself to Toni Kroos on the edge of the box. It's around the same spot from which he killed off Brazil with the third goal on Tuesday, but his shot tonight is nowhere near as convincing, and rolls straight into the grateful hands of Romero.
    7/13/2014 7:45:11 PM
  • 45 mins: Two Germany corners signal the start of two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. Kroos' first delivery is nodded behind by Demichelis under pressure from Hummels, but the second reaches Höwedes, who crashes his header against the post! The defender should have scored from point blank range, as should Thomas Muller with the follow up from a yard out, but the ball just hits the forward and once again ends up in Romero's hands on the line. Nevertheless, Muller was offside.

    7/13/2014 7:47:45 PM
    7/13/2014 7:47:53 PM
  • The Independent's Glenn Moore has arrived with his half-time analysis...

    The final has not quite caught light, but there have been plenty of sparks. Germany look vulnerable in the centre, but in attack they are beginning to put together some of the swift passing moves which destroyed Brazil. Higuain and Howedes should both have scored, we could do with someone taking the next chance to make the game open up.
    7/13/2014 7:59:28 PM
  • SECOND HALF KICK-OFF: Argentina begin the second half having made one change at the break; Sergio Aguero is on in place of Ezequiel Lavezzi. La Albiceleste will hope for much from the Manchester City forward, as well as more from their main man...

    7/13/2014 8:05:21 PM
  • 47 mins: Lionel Messi could have scored! Lionel Messi should have scored! It's been an incredibly positive start to the second half from Argentina, and Aguero and Higuain had both gone close to getting behind the German defence and beating the offside trap before Messi finally did. Lucas Biglia slipped him through with a lovely pass, and there was almost a hushed silence as the forward bore down on Neuer from the left. However, his left-footed shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.

    7/13/2014 8:06:55 PM
  • I think it's more health and safety, and extortionate ticket prices actually...

    7/13/2014 8:11:27 PM
  • 54 mins: Referee Rizzoli plays a fine advantage when the ball runs through to Muller after Schürrle is clattered by Zabaleta on the edge of the box. The German's cross is put behind for a corner, at which point Schürrle starts berating the official for not awarding the free-kick. A season under the management of Jose Mourinho has clearly rubbed off on him. Still, it's some relief for the Germans who have been on the back-foot since the restart.
    7/13/2014 8:15:37 PM
  • 57 mins: Shades of Harold Schumacher as Manuel Neuer races out to clear a ball up the right, and completely takes out Gonzalo Higuain. The goalkeeper gets to the ball first with his fist, just inside his area, but he knees are on the rise and smash into the shoulder of the Argentine forward. It's an honest attempt by the goalkeeper, but it does border on reckless. Nicola Rizzoli has made his mind up too; he awards a free-kick to Germany.

    7/13/2014 8:18:25 PM
  • Well captured...

    and well said...

    7/13/2014 8:21:48 PM
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