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.

    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
    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
    There's five minutes until kick-off at the Maracana...

    7/13/2014 6:55:00 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
    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
    88 mins: Argentina smell blood, and Lionel Messi tries to wriggle away from the close attention of many German markers on a run through the middle. Even Messi can't find space in this crowd, but when the loose ball falls to Lucas Biglia, the midfielder looks as though he's about to line up a match winning thunderbolt. However, out of nowhere, appears Schweinsteiger with a crunching, yet fair, tackle, and the danger is alleviated.
    7/13/2014 8:49:32 PM
    90 mins: There will be three minutes of injury time. Can someone find a dramatic winner or are we in for another half hour of extra time?
    7/13/2014 8:50:10 PM
    90+1 mins: Germany don't want another half hour, and try to force the issue, but Mario Gotze, recently on as a substitute hasn't yet adjusted to the pace of the game, and thumps a long range effort straight at Sergio Romero with his teammates better placed either side of him.
    7/13/2014 8:52:07 PM

    Extra-time will be played in the 2014 World Cup final. While the players receive their instructions and treatment out on the pitch ahead of a further 30 minutes, here are the the full-time thoughts of Glenn Moore...

    "The 20th World Cup final has become a bit patchy, but I’m happy to see another 30 minutes even if the fact that the best players are Boateng, Schweinsteiger and Zabaleta tells its own story. To think that, at the start of the tournament, it was believed Argentina’s defence would be its weakness, but the attack would score so many that wouldn’t matter. It went to penalties when these two met in the 2006 quarter-final, Germany won and there was a punch-up between the teams afterwards. I’d rather it was settled in the next half-hour." 
    7/13/2014 8:52:40 PM
    EXTRA-TIME KICK-OFF: Ooof! What a start to extra-time! Germany nearly grab the lead inside 30 seconds, but Romero is alert to dealing with Schurrle's shot inside the box after the substitute had been teed up inside the area by Ozil. Almost immediately, Argentina break on the counter attack but Messi is denied by an excellent tackle by Boateng. This isn't going to be one of those dreary periods before penalties.
    7/13/2014 8:59:38 PM
    93 mins: Manuel Neuer is in a real rush to get matters sorted before spot-kicks, and the sweeper keeper bursts out of his goal to take a Germany throw-in. Glad to see it on the biggest stage.
    7/13/2014 9:03:34 PM
    97 mins: A huge chance for Argentina! Marcos Rojo delivers a wonderful curling ball from the left wing over the head of Hummels and straight on to the chest of Palacio. The substitute takes a heavy first touch which forces him to take a quick second in lifting the ball over the onrushing Neuer, and it sails behind for a goalkick with Boateng covering the net.

    7/13/2014 9:05:54 PM
    101 mins: That immediate frenzy of action at the start of this first period of extra-time has settled down, and for the first time tonight there are signs of some tired legs out on the Maracana pitch. Germany continue to dominate possession and make most of the running, but Argentina do look dangerous on those occasions when they break with intent.
    7/13/2014 9:11:30 PM
    Don't be fooled by the lack of goals, it's been an intriguing night in Rio...

    What a World Cup final! Couldn't have asked for a more thrilling game!!Aprilat 10:10 PM

    April, like myself, is undoubtedly still haunted by the final the last time these two met at this stage of the competition.
    7/13/2014 9:13:31 PM
    105 mins: Ouch! The last action of the first period of extra-time is another crunching tackle, this time on Philipp Lahm by Palacio. The players aren't ducking out of any challenges with just quarter of an hour of the 2014 World Cup remaining.

    Plus potential penalties, of course.
    7/13/2014 9:14:09 PM

    And here, once again for us, are the thoughts of Glenn Moore...

    Sometimes games ebb and flow, but this one settled into a pattern very early and, without a goal being scored to force a change, has stayed to it. Germany have the ball, Germany press on, Argentina get the best chances, Argentina miss them. As Alex Scott wrote in the Indy recently, now penalties will start preying on players' minds. They will also be thinking 'it is a bad time to make an error'.
    7/13/2014 9:14:29 PM
    117 mins: Argentina are having a go at trying to find an immediate reply, but Manuel Neuer is having none of it! The German keeper races off his line to deal with all kinds of danger, tipping the ball over a number of bemused Argentine heads before eventually claiming control with his hands just inside the box.
    7/13/2014 9:29:38 PM
    118 mins: He's not known for his height, but Lionel Messi has come up with some big headers in his time - most notably in the Champions League final - but he's off target with this one from 12 yards as the ball flies over Neuer's bar following Rojo's delivery from the left. You wonder if that's the last chance that will fall to Argentina.
    7/13/2014 9:30:55 PM
    120 mins: Germany eat up a few more seconds by replacing Mesut Ozil with his Arsenal teammate Per Mertesacker. There will be two minutes of stoppage time before the Germans are crowned world champions for a fourth time.
    7/13/2014 9:32:55 PM
    120+1 mins: It's now or never for Argentina as Javier Mascherano comes charging downfield with the ball. He plays it to Messi, who himself  goes storming away through the middle of the pitch only to be brought crashing to the ground by Schweinsteiger's tackle 30 yards from goal. The free-kick is awarded and it will be their last chance...
    7/13/2014 9:34:00 PM
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