RIO DE JANEIRO – Germany became World Cup champion for the fourth time on Sunday night, and the first European team in history to clinch soccer’s greatest prize on South American soil.
It did so courtesy of a winner deep into extra time from substitute Mario Gotze, who displayed a brilliant piece of skill to decide a contest of outstanding quality.
Gotze took a pass from the left from Andre Schurrle in the 113th minute of action, trapped it on his chest and swiveled it past Sergio Romero and into the Argentina net. The goal proved to be enough to give Germany a 1-0 victory.
For the second World Cup in a row scores were level after 90 minutes, but unlike when Spain beat the Netherlands four years ago this was no snoozefest.
It was tense and cagey and royally entertaining. And it was sealed by a 22-year-old who had come on as substitute for Miroslav Klose with just two minutes of regulation time remaining.
Gotze’s strike was the first time Argentina had trailed in the entire tournament and sent his nation into delirium, securing its first world title since 1990.