14 July 2014
Germany is celebrating victory in the World Cup final after a 1-0 win over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night. The match was level at 0-0 after 90 minutes, but Germany took the lead in the second period of extra time and held on to claim a fourth World Cup title.
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Germany's triumph - its first as a unified country to add to West Germany's three World Cups - is the culmination of more than a decade of planning, but far from Mario Gotze's fabulous winning goal at the Maracana being the end of the process, their hope is that this is the start of a period of sustained success. It isn't the end of the road for this wonderful team who were the most consistent, attacking, enterprising squad of Brazil 2014. They have deservedly become the first European side to win the World Cup in South America.
For Argentina, the final was a distillation of their whole tournament. They'll look back in particular at Gonzalo Higuain's horrible miss in the first half and wonder what might have been, but they have showed only sporadically their undoubted talent, and whilst Lionel Messi was named the player of the tournament, he has yet to fulfil his destiny as the supposed heir to Maradona.
Such is Brazil's rivalry with Argentina, the host nation's fans who were at the final were cheering loudly for Germany, the team who'd humiliated them in the semi-finals. Now the rest of the world can join in.
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final result after a long process
continuous; lasting for a long time
always behaving in the same way
(here) combination of the best parts
expected future plan