112th minute goal by substitute Mario Goetze was enough to seal the victory for Germany. Second time in a row the winner of the World Cup final was scored in the second half of extra time.
It was a tactically intriguing match till the end of normal time – high pressing vs narrow and deep defending. Players looked tired in the extra time. So, on the whole, the match was decided by tiredness of the players and not tactics.
Both the teams remained unchanged from their semi-final victories. Sami Khedira had a calf injury during the warm up session and was replaced by Christoph Kramer of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Argentina squeeze in – Germany spread out –
Argentina, with their 4-3-1-2 formation, played very narrowly. The three midfielders – Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia and Enzo Perez tried to remain close to each other which made it tough for the German midfielders to find their forwards. Through balls were very rarely played. Germans were pushed wide and relied on the wingbacks (especially Lahm). Germany crossed the ball 25 times an were successful only 6 times.
Argentina attack from their right –
Lionel Messi drifted to his right and was joined by Ezequiel Lavezzi as the Argentine forwards tried to take advantage of Germany’s weak link, Bendikt Howedes. Mats Hummels was regularly outpaced by the Argentinian forwards.
In the first half-
09’ – Messi outpaces Hummels to get behind the German defence. Enzo Perez fails to collect the pass.
10’ – Pablo Zabaleta overlaps Lavezzi to get behind Howedes. Again Perez miss times his run.
11’ – Howedes once again becomes the target of Argentinian forwards. This time beaten by Lavezzi.
31’ – Messi finds Lavezzi on the right wing, unmarked and with acres of space in front of him. Gonzalo Higuain scores from Lavezzi’s cross. Offside.
40’ – Messi once outpaces Hummels and gets close to the goal. Cleared by Jerome Boateng.
Mesut Ozil, who played to the left of Miroslav Klose, did not properly track back the Argentinians on the right side of the field. Germany’s high defensive line prompted Argentina to play long balls over the defence. Argentina had a number of goal scoring chances in the first half, while attacking from the right, but could not convert any.
Germany’s response –
Germany channelled their attack through the right, targeting Marcos Rojo. Thomas Muller stayed close to Klose most of the times. Lahm was always found in advanced positions in the first half. Whereas Howedes was rarely involved in attacks. Howedes was busy in checking the runs of Lavezzi and Messi.
Higuain was more central and Perez sat a bit deep. The narrowness of Argentine midfield meant Lahm had no one challenging him in forward runs during the breaks.
Until the 31st minute (Kramer’s substitution), Germany had Bastain Schweinsteiger in very deep position. Kramer was roaming very close to the forwards and Toni Kroos was controlling the game by stationing himself in between these two. When Andre Schurrle came on for Kramer, Ozil dropped to midfield. Schurrle presence on the left flank enabled Germany to switch the play occasionally.
Germany pressing –
Germany pressed all over the field last night. As a result of their high pressing, Germany had recorded a 7-1 victory over Brazil in the semi-finals. But the deep defensive line and narrow play of Argentina didn’t give Germany any such chances.
Set pieces –
In this tournament, Germany had scored thrice from corners. Germany were expected to score or at least pose some threats from corners. In the 45th minute, Howedes, who was unmarked, made a run from outside the box. Unfortunately, he hit the pole.
Half time substitution by Alejandro Sabella –
Argentina started the second half brilliantly by attacking through the centre. Sergio Aguero, Messi and Higuain separated themselves from the midfield trio and launched a series of attacks in the first ten minutes of the second half.
Germany change their perspective –
Germany changed their perspective in the second half – they attacked from both the wings. Argentina were playing very narrowly in the first half. With Germany attacking from both the flanks, Argentina’s play was furthermore narrowed. Ozil, Muller and Lahm pressed on the right while Kroos, Schurrle and Howedes pressed on the left.
Goetze on for Klose, Rodriguez comes on for Higuain –
Klose was replaced by Goetze in the 88th minute. Goetze played as the centre forward and kept swapping his postion with Muller. A false nine on the field created problems to Argentina defence by dragging the defenders to midfield and creating space.
Rodrigo Palacio was given the orders to play in between Aguero and Messi. He was asked to run up and down the field to disrupt the German markers.
A game of missed chances for Argentina-
Argentina had very less time on the ball. Germany had 64% possession and Argentina’s style of play meant they had to strike each and every time they had the sight of the goal.
Higuain collected Kroos’ misplaced back pass in the 21st minute but failed to score. Messi had a chance to open the scoring in the 47th minute. His shot was just wide. Rodrigo Palacio missed one in the extra time. Palacio also missed an opportunity to break open the deadlock. Argentina didn’t even hit a single shot on target.
A moment of concentration lapse from Martin Demichelis was enough for Goetze to pounce upon and score the winner.