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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The FIFA World Cup Final's Halftime and Postgame Thread For 7/13/14: Super Mario Golden Gotze Gives Germany A 4th Title (Postgame Version)



FT (aet) Argentina 0-1 Germany (Gotze 113')


Photo from Getty Images

Though injuries and pressure, Germany have deservedly and rightly won a fourth world championship.

It is already a terrific great scene in Berlin, and Mario Gotze scored a world class winner to break the deadlock. It's fitting that Gotze scored, considering that he has been called the "German Messi" for several years now and featured a touch that the glorious Argentine just did not have today.

All match long, Martin Demichelis was outstanding with Ezequiel Garay. Demichelis, much maligned at Manchester City, had a tournament that showed why he was good enough to not only go to City but also be apart of Bayern Munich. But with fatigue setting in, the "bad Demichelis" reared its head at the worst time for the Albiceleste by not monitoring Gotze on that final ball.

Still for Argentina, Demichelis' moment of negligence on Gotze wasn't the moment that cost them. It was the messed chances, from Higuain to Messi and Palacio that cost them the match. It was Alejandro Sabella who had the right game plan fulfilled by his dogged side, a team that only fell behind this World Cup at its last minutes.

A last few minutes that represented how mentally strong this German side were to win this World Cup, from its manager's tactical thoughts to all 23 men being called upon whenever and determined to make that final progression that started in 2006.

Captain Philip Lahm, the real captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski saw the completion of their youthful exuberance of 2006 and heartbreaking misses of 2008, 2010, and 2012 be the stepping stone for their ultimate moment. A moment that saw their nation return to the top of the football world as a unified nation for the first time.



Halftime: Argentina 0, Germany 0 



An enthralling first half that started as a cagey tactical battle.  Both sides ran the channels properly and got into any space their stringy opposition allowed.

The game plan worked for Sabella as best as it could, as Higuain blew a golden opportunity after a rare mistake from Kroos, and was impatiently offside on that chance he could have finished.

Biglia and Mascherano did they jobs as a whole, but Mascherano had his worst pass of the tournament (though not as bad as Kroos) and it lead to another chance for Germany. Those two will have to hold firm in the middle with Perez has to give Rojo a bit more on the outside whenever Lahm ventures forward. It would be better for Sabella to switch Lavezzi and Perez to make Lahm defend more.

For Low, Hummels is getting beaten far too easily by a heavy legged Messi and Boateng made to stay back more, while Hummels takes on Higuain or Lavezzi crashing in behind him. Schweinsteiger has been superb handling Messi, but the loss of Khedira has certainly messed up their final ball in the middle rhythm. They have gotten more of their best moments from the outside, but that will always be tough for the Germans with Klose as the only one consistently in the box.

A great second half awaits... 
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