An entertaining first half played out, where both Gonzalo Higuain and Benedikt Howedes should have scored, but that gave way to a nerve-shredding second half and extra 30 minutes as Argentina and Germany could not be separated until the 113th minute when substitute Mario Gotze scored the game-winner.
Fellow substitute Andre Schurrle got free down the left and curled in an inch-perfect cross which Gotze chested down and volleyed past Sergio Romero to send Germany wild. The Bayern Munich man became the first substitute to score in extra time of the World Cup final to dash Argentina’s dreams and write himself into World Cup folklore.
With their victory Germany became the first team from Europe to win a World Cup in the Americas, as they clinched their first World Cup since trophy since 1990 after an exhausting game between two giants of world soccer.
The match began with hesitant attacking from both sides. Lionel Messi in particular caused trouble for the German defense, frequently getting the best of the much-slower Mats Hummels. Gonzalo Higuain had Argentina’s best opportunities of the first half.
After picking up an errant header and firing wide in front of goal in the 21st minute, his successful effort ten minutes later was narrowly ruled offside. Benedikt Höwedes, meanwhile, will have wanted another shot at his header off the post just before the break.
Kramer’s surprise start was cut short just past the half hour mark. A collision with defender Ezequial Garay in the Argentina box left the 23-year-old on the ground and clutching his head. He briefly attempted to play on, but was eventually substituted for Andre Schürrle.
Messi proved most-dangerous for the Argentines in the second 45 minutes, when his trademark left-footed effort inside the box went just wide immediately after the restart.
Schürrle and Toni Kroos and late, Mario Götze, all had excellent opportunities to put their side ahead, but heavy touches and weak finishing meant goalkeeper Sergio Romero was never truly tested.