Germany Wins 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
|Stars Soccer Magazine by Aldwyn McGill|
Rio De Janeiro, BRAZIL: – After the better part of a month Germany lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup after defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It was a contest that any team could have won with both teams having missed scoring chances. But as is the case only one team could have lost after Germany substitute Mario Gotze scored in the second half of extra time for Germany to win the Cup and be voted Man of the Match.
At times both teams looked dangerous offensively but for the most part impregnable defense was the name of the game. Germany dominated the first half while Argentina opened the second half with intense pressure that saw Lionel Messi shot wide with nothing but net to negotiate past Germany goalkeeper.
The game intensified and from the start of overtime one could have sensed that Germany did not want the uncertainty of penalty kicks to determine the outcome of the game. It was evident when their goalkeeper Manuel Neuer took a throw in extra time to speed up the flow of the game.
The urgency Germany paid off when forward Schurrle forced three Argentina defenders to commit down the left flank and chipped over a pass to Gotze which the 22-year-old chest trap and volleyed into the far corner of the Argentina net that sparked a wild celebration at Maracana stadium.
The timing of the goal could not have been better and so was the World Cup in Brazil. The tournament lived up to its billing as one of the best World Cup if not the best ever. and while the entertainment was guarantee it was the highly competitive nature of the tournament that really stood out.
Results of the games were always in doubt from the opening round to the final game. Teams had to perform to gain a result as Brazil, as Argentina, Netherlands, and Germany proved by defeating divisional winners such as Colombia, Belgium, Costa Rica and France respectively to reach the semi-finals.
Honourable mention has to be made of USA for defying the odds to finish second behind Germany in Group G, (the Group of Death). USA advanced into the Round of 16 before eventually losing 2-1 to Belgium in extra time in one of the most exciting finishes at the tournament in Brazil.
The USA performance at World Cup Brazil eliminated Portugal and Ghana which were two teams that had advanced out of the group stage in the previous World Cup in South Africa. Ironically like at South Africa where Spain prevailed in the Group of death, winner Germany was crowned world champions.
As the Central American champion Costa Rica won Group D and with Uruguay was directly responsible for sending England, and Italy packing from the tournament. Mexico also advanced into the Knock Out stage of the tournament, hence showing that the CONCACAF region is ready for world class opposition.
With these improved nations it is possible that the same teams may not be competing at the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018. Let’s not forget that there are up and coming football nations such as Colombia and Belgium which are on the brink of a breaking through should their programs continue to strive.
World Champions Germany needed extra time to defeat Algeria 2-1 with Algeria having a chance to tie the game while France needed the last 11 minutes to defeat Nigeria 2-0 in the Round of 16. It speaks volumes for the development of Africa football whose youth football has always been highly ranked.
I know there were many who would have liked to see the host Brazil lift the World Cup but after a month of tension-filled soccer it came down to the battle of the two best teams with Germany as the deserving champion.
Germany was favoured after coming off one of the most shocking wins in the history of world football; a demolishing of Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte while Argentina needed penalty kicks to defeat Netherlands in their semi-final match.
In term of experience Germany was making its eighth appearance in the World Cup final, the most of any nation and having won three in 1954, 1974 and 1990. Argentina on the other hand was making its fifth appearance in a World Cup Final and first in 24 years with two World Cup wins in 1978 and 1986
On the coaching side there was no advantage. I was critical of Germany coach Joachim Loew tactical game plan when Germany lost to Spain in the semi-final in South Africa but he did a superb job in Brazil.
Argentina’s coach Alejandro Sabella took some heat for his team’s lack of creativity on offense but it was his defensive schemes and Messi individual brilliance as the Tournament Most Valuable Player that helped Argentina reached as far as it did. And when the dust settled Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked.
Stay Tuned for Stars Soccer Review magazine on the FIFA World Cup in Brazil