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FIFA World Cup 2014

World Cup final 2014: Argentina v Germany live blog

Date

Paul Zalunardo

Germany's team captain Philipp Lahm lifts the trophy. Click for more photos

World Cup final 2014: Argentina v Germany highlights

Germany's team captain Philipp Lahm lifts the trophy. Photo: AP

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Shakira people. Shakira.

 

Here is Michael Lynch's match report from the Maracana. (Click on the link to read all about it.)

That's it for today sports fans. I hope you enjoyed following the blogs during the tournament. A big shout-out to Tom Decent for all the hard work he put in during the group stages - including the Socceroos' fixtures -  and the big elimination games. 

Patrick Begley might not turn up to work today. Who could blame him, he's with the German fans at the Concordia club in Tempe.

After impatient cries of "whistle, whistle", Sydney's German supporters wipe the tears from their cheeks. 

It's been 24 years between drinks, and quite a few are now being poured at the bar. 

So that's it for a superb month of football. The sport may be mired controversy, but when you get a tournament like that you can't help but fall in love with the game all over again. 

Matilda's star Caitlin Foord has hit the nail on the head.

 

Phillipp Lahm lifts the trophy. Confetti falls. Players cheer. There you have it.

Here comes the trophy. The greatest prize in sports.

Angela Merkel on stage. She should call an election immediately. Marion Goetze could be deputy PM.

Here come the champs. Schweinsteiger leads the way.

Argentina players receive the runner-up medals. It looks a long, sad walk to the presentation area.

 

Lionel Messi presented with the Golden Ball award as best player of the tournament. Really? That seems wrong.

Manuel Neuer presented with the Golden Glove award. Well deserved.

 

Sepp Blatter is greeted with boos. The only things both sets of fans can agree on.

Argentina fans look inconsolable. Right now they would probably have rather not made the final.

The streets of Rio will be interesting. After all the boasting from the Argentinian fans in recent days, there may be some payback from Brazilians. At the end of the day, neither team won. Argentina had a better tournament but it wasn't enough.

There will be acres of analysis today, but here is some now:

Lionel Messi: Good in patches but failed with a one-on-one and went missing at stages. Would be unhappy with his performance.

Javier Mascherano: A true warrior. A brilliant midfielder. This guy deserved better finishing from his attacking players.

Sergio Aguero: Didn't offer a lot. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger: Tireless, inventive, skilful. What more can you ask for from a midfielder.

Jerome Boateng: Dominant at the back. Cool, calm, collected.

Mesut Ozil: Very quiet. But he's still a World Cup winner.

Mario Goetze: Scorer of a World Cup winning goal. His career has a high point. He will never do anything bettee than that.

Germany are world champions for a fourth time. Mario Goetze is a new national hero.

Over the balance of the tournament the best team won, you can't deny Germany's mix of free-flowing attack and strong defence has set the standard. Argentina were worthy finalists but relied more on defence than attack.

 

Patrick Begley is at the right place. He's with the German fans in Tempe.

Elation among the German crowd at Tempe as Germany breaks the deadlock.

"I think I'm about to cry," Earl Lobendahn, 28, said. "My grandfather would have loved it."

Patrick, have a beer with the fans if you haven't already. 

Poll: How do you rate this World Cup final?

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Thrilling - a great game

30%

Pretty good - not too bad at all

21%

Gritty - but not spectacular

20%

Boring - a bit of a yawnfest

29%

Total votes: 941.

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Germany have won their fourth World Cup. Argentina fans are crying tears of sadness, Germans tears of joy.

All over. GERMANY ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS

Jubilation: Germany's Mario Goetze celebrates near teammate Thomas Mueller after scoring during extra time.

Jubilation: Germany's Mario Goetze celebrates near teammate Thomas Mueller after scoring during extra time. Photo: Reuters

Terrible attempt. Missed the target by a long way. A long, long way.

This may take a while as Schweinsteiger is hurt.

The goal: Mario Goetze of Germany scores his team's first goal past Sergio Romero of Argentina in extra time.

The goal: Mario Goetze of Germany scores his team's first goal past Sergio Romero of Argentina in extra time. Photo: Getty Images

Messi stands over the ball...

Argentina have a free-kick in a dangerous attacking spot. Can Messi do it? 

We are into stoppage time. This could end any second.

Germany make a chance. Ozil off, Mertesacker on. He's a big defender who's good in the air. Wise move.

Poll: Who is the best sporting commentator?

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Martin Tyler

41%

Richie Benaud

23%

Ray Warren

9%

Bruce McAvaney

9%

Marv Albert

1%

Murray Walker

9%

Gordon Bray

8%

Total votes: 499.

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Disclaimer:

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Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Neuer has the ball in his hands again. Two minutes remain. Germany still have a change to make as well which will use up some time. Germany 1-0

Not bloody happy: Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger reacts as blood flows down his face after he was fouled during their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina.

Not bloody happy: Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger reacts as blood flows down his face after he was fouled during their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina. Photo: Reuters

Three minutes remain. Argentina lumping the ball forward now. Messi heads over. Neuer had it covered anyway.

More great keeping from Neuer. You can't help but love the way he backs himself.

Goetze, the man who came on to replace Klose, looks to be the hero.

Argentina now have six minutes to score. Brazil is happy, Germany is happier. 

113th minute: A great finish from Goetze. He chested down a Schurrle cross and fired the ball home. Romero was no chance on the Argentina goal. 1-0 Germany

GOAL. GOAL. GOAL. Mario Goetze scores for Germany.

Schweinsteiger is back. Nine minutes for either side to find a winner.

After seeing Schweinsteiger's face Aguero is lucky to still be on the field. An emergency patch-up job is needed to get the midfield ace back on the pitch.

109th minute: Germany happy to control possession. Argentina still sitting very deep. Ageuro called for a foul. He already has a yellow card, he had better be careful. 0-0

Poll: How do you rate this World Cup final?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Thrilling - a great game

30%

Pretty good - not too bad at all

21%

Gritty - but not spectacular

20%

Boring - a bit of a yawnfest

29%

Total votes: 941.

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Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

We are back underway. Fifteen minutes to avoid a shoot-out. It would be a fifth shoot-out at this World Cup.

Very interesting. 

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

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Don't get too close: Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio fights for the ball with Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger during extra time.

Don't get too close: Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio fights for the ball with Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger during extra time. Photo: Reuters

There's another 15 minutes in the books and we are still searching for a goal. At this rate a penalty shoot-out is looming large. If it goes that far, it will be the third final to be decided by penalties since 1994. Italy lost the first one to Brazil in 1994 (USA), and won the second against France in 2006 (Germany).

 

The pace is slowing notably and you can't blame the players. The pace, particularly from the Germans, has been frantic. 

And the Argentinian crowd goes mild at the Bexley Bowling Club ... 

We are three minutes away from a second half of extra-time and still no goals. There are two types of 0-0 games, and this is the good type. Both teams are chasing goals, only to be stymied by poor finishing. 

Patrick Begley from the Concordia Club: 

Hans and Dennis Loether were at the Concordia Club in Tempe when Germany last won the World Cup 24 years ago.

Now they wait among an increasingly nervous crowd as Germany try to eke out a goal to avoid a penalty shoot-out.  "With this little guy on the ball, anything can happen," Dennis said, pointing to Messi. 

Um, Mick Jagger does know England didn't make the final, doesn't he?  Rolling Stones (that's a band you may have heard about in history class, young bloggers) frontman Mick Jagger looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final at Maracana.

Um, Mick Jagger does know England didn't make the final, doesn't he? Rolling Stones (that's a band you may have heard about in history class, young bloggers) frontman Mick Jagger looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final at Maracana. Photo: Getty Images

Another great chance that comes to nothing. Palacio lifts the ball over an advancing Neuer but directs the ball wide at the same time. The slew of missed chances from both teams have been the talking point of this match. That and Palacio's rat's tail.

After a frantic start to extra time, things have slowed a little. Some of these players look like they are running on fumes. Don't forget that many of them are playing their seventh match in a month.

Poll: Who is the best sporting commentator?

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  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Martin Tyler

41%

Richie Benaud

23%

Ray Warren

9%

Bruce McAvaney

9%

Marv Albert

1%

Murray Walker

9%

Gordon Bray

8%

Total votes: 499.

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More from Amy McNeilage at the Bexley Bowling Club - the place to be.

It feels incredibly tense here in Bexley with the Argentinian community heading into extra time. The silences are becoming deeper and shrieks more frantic. "I'm feeling sick to my stomach," said Lisa Lagarez. "It's extraordinary. I'm proud of them whatever happens but I think they can win."

Argentinian fan Carlos Panetta, who came to Australia in 1969, said he's less confident now we've moved to extra time.
"Germany are always fit and strong and they've had an extra day to rest," he said. "But never discount the ability of Messi. I just hope it doesn't go to penalties."

Farewell to a legend: Germany's Miroslav Klose shakes hands with coach Joachim Loew as he leaves the pitch during their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Farewell to a legend: Germany's Miroslav Klose shakes hands with coach Joachim Loew as he leaves the pitch during their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Reuters

Great effort there from Schurrle, but Romero was equal to it. At the other end, Aguero blazes wide from a very tight angle.

91st minute: Romero with the reflex save from a Schurrle shot. 

Poll: How do you rate this World Cup final?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Thrilling - a great game

30%

Pretty good - not too bad at all

21%

Gritty - but not spectacular

20%

Boring - a bit of a yawnfest

29%

Total votes: 941.

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Disclaimer:

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Germany will start extra-time with the ball. 

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

A summary from Michael Lynch at the Maracana:

Lionel Messi has been outstanding in this game and even as the clock ticks down with extra time looming he is not letting up for an instant. How will Argentina fare in an extra 30 minutes, given the fact they had to play extra time against The Netherlands only four days ago before winning on penalties.

That's it. 0-0 after 90 minutes and we are off to extra-time. Argentina are no stranger to additional time in this tournament. They needed 120 minutes to beat Switzerland and then penalties to advance at the expense of the Dutch in the semi-finals.

Idiot: Security personnel tackle a pitch invader during the World Cup Final.

Idiot: Security personnel tackle a pitch invader during the World Cup Final. Photo: Getty Images

It is end to end stuff. Both sides going for the win. Another 30 minutes of this would be great. 

Mario Goetze has a shot. It's on target but very lame. It dribbled towards Romero. No danger ther.

Collision: Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer collides into Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain as he clears the ball.

Collision: Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer collides into Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain as he clears the ball. Photo: Reuters

There will be three minutes of stoppage time. 

Germany make a change. Miroslav Klose - he off the World Cup goal scoring record - is replaced by Mario Goetze. That should result in Thomas Muller moving into the striker's role. 0-0

Another change for Argentina. Enzo Perez is replaced by Fernando Gago. A like-for-like move. That won't result in any major reshuffle from the men in blue.

Maybe a thrilling extra-time is just what this amazing World Cup needs as a final act. We are five minutes - plus stoppage time - away from getting it. 0-0

Mesut Ozil has been very quiet for Germany today. It is hard to remember him doing much at all. Mascherano has had a lot to do with that.

10 minutes to go. This is getting more spine tingling by the minute. It's hard enough watching it is an neutral observer. Heaven help those who have a vested interest, or are actually playing.

Poll: How do you rate this World Cup final?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Thrilling - a great game

30%

Pretty good - not too bad at all

21%

Gritty - but not spectacular

20%

Boring - a bit of a yawnfest

29%

Total votes: 941.

Would you like to vote?

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Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

78th minute: Change for Argentina. Higuain off and Rodrigo Palacio on. Will Higuain rue that missed first half chance for the rest of his life? Only time will tell.

 

Fifteen minutes to go in regular time. Both sides starting to look tired. The game is opening up even more. This is compelling stuff. 0-0

Alex Winter. ICYMI - there are reports of a third Bill & Ted's movie in the pipeline. Exciting times.

Messi with another shot, but well wide. It never looked like going in. 0-0

Poll: Who is the best sporting commentator?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Martin Tyler

41%

Richie Benaud

23%

Ray Warren

9%

Bruce McAvaney

9%

Marv Albert

1%

Murray Walker

9%

Gordon Bray

8%

Total votes: 499.

Would you like to vote?

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Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

70th minute: Now it is Schurrle's chance to stumble at the most inopportune time. Just when he looked to be readying himself to shoot, a poor touch ended the threat. 0-0

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

Would you like to vote?

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Not what it seems: Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain scores a goal past Germany's Manuel Neuer that was later ruled as offside and disallowed.

Not what it seems: Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain scores a goal past Germany's Manuel Neuer that was later ruled as offside and disallowed. Photo: Reuters

A yellow card for Argentina. Javier Mascherano goes into the book for a cynical tackle. For someone so heavily involved in the action, he will need to be careful. Less than a minute later he is joined in the book by teammate Sergio Aguero. That's 2-2 on the yellow card front and 0-0 on the scoreboard.

Poll: How do you rate this World Cup final?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Thrilling - a great game

30%

Pretty good - not too bad at all

21%

Gritty - but not spectacular

20%

Boring - a bit of a yawnfest

29%

Total votes: 941.

Would you like to vote?

You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

The longer we go without a goal, the more likely it is that first scorer wins. Both sides will become increasingly tense if the scores remains like this. After playing 120 minutes in their semi-final win over the Netherlands, I doubt Argentina want another dose of extra time. Germany won't be worries by the prospect of more football.

No goals so far, but Argentina leads the missed chances tally 2-1. Higuain and Messi both should have done better with their chances, while Howedes hit the post with his great chance. Thirty minutes remain in regular time. 0-0

57th minute: German keeper Manuel Neuer collects Higuain after punching the ball clear. Higuain is down for the count but no blame can be handed Neuer's way. In fact the Germans were awarded a free-kick for the incident. 0-0

Manuel Neuer collides with Gonzalo Higuain.

Manuel Neuer collides with Gonzalo Higuain. Photo: Getty Images

So close: A header from Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes hits the post.

So close: A header from Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes hits the post. Photo: AP

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

No major tactical changes detected in the early stages of the second half. 

Fairfax reporter Amy McNeilage is with some of Sydney's Argentine community. Here's here take:

Plenty of that famous Latino emotion from Sydney's Argentinian community at the Bexley Bowling Club.
They are feeling unsurprisingly confident at half time.
"We need to get more possession and we can't give them much room," 18-year-old Sebastian Bressa said.
"I reckon that it was vital that we stayed level or ahead at half time. I think we have a bit of an advantage now."

"Of course I feel positive," Argentinian-born Luis Vrinat said. "I have seen Argentina have lots of opportunities. Unfortunately with Germany you have to score because they always push."

Probably not his real hair: A fan of Germany smiles at the 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Probably not his real hair: A fan of Germany smiles at the 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: AFP

47th minute: Another great chance for Argentina and Messi shoots wide. He should have done better. It's as simple as that A 1-on-1 and he shot wide. Germany breathe a sigh of relief. 0-0

The second half is underway, with Aguero playing alongside Higuain in a two-man Argentine strikeforce. That allows Messi to do his thing in behind them.

Players are coming back out for the second half. We can only hope their is as much action as their was in the first. All we need is goals, and maybe the arrival of Sergio Aguero will bring that. He is on for Argentina, with Lavezzi making way.

If Germany win today they will join Italy as having won four World Cups - one adrift of the five won by Brazil. That would give those three nations 13 of the 20 titles between them. Argentina are chasing a third title after wins in 1978 and 1986.

Fairfax reporter Patrick Begley is with the German fans at Sydney's Concordia Club. Here is his report on the first half:

There were cries of elation then a disappointed groan from the German supporting crowd at Tempe's Concordia Club as the header just before half-time failed to make it home.

But those loyal to Deutschland are pleased with the pressure their team has maintained against Argentina.

Half-time gives now gives the crowd a proper chance to grab a hot dog and stein of wheat beer.

 

German fans get excited watching the final at Sydney's Concordia Club.

German fans get excited watching the final at Sydney's Concordia Club. Photo: Peter Rae

The only thing we haven't had so far is a goal. Both teams will be thinking they should have scored. Higuain wasted a chance after a Kroos error and, upon reflection, Howedes should have scored with an open header from the edge of the six-yard box. 

That missed chance from Howedes was the final meaningful act of the first half. Both teams will feel that they can win this game.

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

That header was the final meaningful act of the first half - a pretty good start to a World Cup final.

 

45th minute: Benedikt Howedes hits the post with a powerful header. Romero was nowhere to be seen. Both sides have had great chances to score. Neither has. 0-0

For a neutral, a goal here would be great. Things will really open up then.

With half-time approaching, Argentina would be the happier of the two sides. The game is being played they way they want it to be. They are looking very strong at the back and dangerous on the break. The Germans are in a match today. 0-0

39th minute: Another great chance for Argentina. Jerome Boateng forced to make a goal line clearance following a Messi run. Argentina appear the more likely to score. Meanwhile, there is some arguing among players over allegations of pushing and shoving. Get on with it. 0-0

Make of this what you will .... 

Klose but no cigar: Miroslav Klose controls the ball against Marcos Rojo.

Klose but no cigar: Miroslav Klose controls the ball against Marcos Rojo. Photo: Getty Images

More from Michael Lynch at the Maracana.

Concussion rule in football sure to be a big talking point in the wake of this World Cup as Kramer, who replaced Khedira before kick off, has to go off. He was on the end of a blow to the head from Ezequiel Garay, the Argentine centre back.

Germany's Christoph Kramer was forced off with a head injury.

Germany's Christoph Kramer was forced off with a head injury. Photo: Reuters

36th minute: Another offside denies a goal scoring chance. Mesut Ozil interfered enough to cause the linesman's flag to go up. It didn't matter any way as Schurrle's shot was blocked by Romero. 0-0

Argentina get another corner. For all their sitting back, they have looked good when going forward. With Messi in yours side that's a given I suppose.

33rd minute: Another yellow card for the Germans. Benedikt Howedes is the man this time, joining Schweinsteiger in the book.

31st minute: Germany forced into an early change. Christoph Kramer replaced after failing to shake the effects of the head knock he copped earlier. Attacking player Andre Schurrle replaces him. That results in a tactical reshuffle.

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

Would you like to vote?

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

Disclaimer:

These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

30th minute: No goal. No goal. Higuian put the ball in the back of the net but was correctly ruled to have been offside. Good officiating. 0-0

The first yellow card of the game is handed to German midfielder Sebastian Schweinsteiger for a foul on Ezequiel Lavezzi. Messi's efforts amount to nothing.

The little master: Lionel Messi is challenged by Mats Hummels.

The little master: Lionel Messi is challenged by Mats Hummels. Photo: Getty Images

While no-one can dispute Messi's mastery with the ball at his feet, he is not a fan of running when the other team have the ball. I guess he is saving his energy for when he needs it, but the centre circle grass is going to get warn out at this rate.

 

No wind machine required: Colombian singer Shakira performs during the closing ceremony.

No wind machine required: Colombian singer Shakira performs during the closing ceremony. Photo: AFP

A word from Fairfax football writer Michael Lynch at the Maracana: 

Intrigung start at the Maracana. Germany having most of the posession, Argentina sitting deep and defending well, but catching the Germans out on the break down the right. One great piece of acceleration from Messi to outpace Hummels, which, to be fair, might be expected...

21st minute: What a miss. Gonzalo Higuain had an open shot from just inside the German penalty early after a Toni Kroos header went terribly wrong. Higuain scuffed his shot, missing the target. Germany, and Kroos in particular, breathe a sigh of relief. 0-0

With Argentina sitting so deep, the German midfielders are able to get a running start when coming forward. In the first injury of the game, Christoph Kramer is down after a blow to the head. This is the man who started in place on the injured Khedira. He looks pretty groggy but is likely to continue. The other Kramer was no stranger to hitting his head either. 

Argentina's Lucas Biglia heads the ball clear from Germany's Mesut Ozil during the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Argentina's Lucas Biglia heads the ball clear from Germany's Mesut Ozil during the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: AP

Poll: World Cup final: Who's going to win?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
Germany by 1 goal

37%

Germany by 2 goals

14%

Germany by 3 goals

2%

Germany by 4 or more goals

1%

Germany on penalties

9%

Argentina by 1 goal

21%

Argentina by 2 goals

5%

Argentina by 3 goals

0%

Argentina by 4 or more goals

0%

Argentina on penalties

11%

Total votes: 339.

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Poll closed 14 Jul, 2014

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With 12 minutes gone, the pattern looks to have been set. Argentina look good in defence so far, and have also looked dangerous on the counter. Germany are looking to play with pace. 

The first goal may well decide this match. If Germany score Argentina will have to alter their game plan, if Argentina score will become even more cautious and look to strangle the life out of the match.

Argentina have a corner from a block from a Lucas Biglia shot. The corner amounts to nothing.

9th minute: Messi just turned on the after-burners for the first time and German defender Mats Hummels struggled to keep up. Messi was too quick for him and got a cross in but Germany had enough men back to eliminate any threat. 0-0

The shot hits the wall and Argentina counter. Their raid ends with Gonzalo Higuain shooting wide. Is that a sign of things to come? Argentina on the counter and Germany forcing the pace?

3rd minute: Germany have the first attacking chance from a free-kick. A cast of five stand around the ball.

The 20th World Cup final is underway. Germany in white and Argentina in their alternate all-blue kit.

As the anthems are being played here are a couple of talking points.

Will Germany carry the awesome form from their semi-final demolition of Brazil into the final?

Will Argentina sit back and go on the attack?

Can Messi win his nation a World Cup?

Can the six Bayern Munich players in the German starting XI get the job done?

All this and more will soon be revealed.

 

There has been some late news from the German camp. Sami Khedira has been moved to the bench after sustaining a calf injury in the warm up.

His place in the starting 11 has been taken by Christoph Kramer. Please forgive me for any Cosmo Kramer references from here on.

Spain's Carles Puyol has just delivered the trophy onto the field with none other than Gisele Bundchen and he trophy in an expensive looking case.  

Before we get onto the match it is time for some all-important team news.

The biggest news comes out of the Argentina camp. And it isn't good. Lionel Messi is .... playing but his two best attacking partners are not. Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria have both been named on the bench. Di Maria wasn't expected to play but there was a chance Aguero could be thrown on from the start.

 

Hello world, and welcome to the biggest day in world sport. It's the World Cup final. Germany and Argentina. After the greatest World Cup in living memory it all comes down to this. 

 

Sort comments by:
  • Congratulations Germany, the outstanding outfit of the tournament but the tough performance put up by the Argentinians to the very end should make the Brazilians hang their massively inflated heads in shame.

    Commenter
    Jim
    Location
    Date and time
    July 14, 2014, 8:36AM
  • Feel sorry for Messi. He will no doubt incur the wrath of a nation for missing that goal and be blamed for losing the world cup. So much pressure on one guy.

    Commenter
    Catherine
    Location
    Date and time
    July 14, 2014, 8:11AM
  • best team won...note i said team....messi isnt the whole team.....lesson for all coaches

    Commenter
    skeptic
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    July 14, 2014, 7:51AM
  • Is Messi even playing? Although he has been good, his world cup hasn't been up to his lofty Barcelona standards.

    Commenter
    Spike
    Location
    Date and time
    July 14, 2014, 5:48AM
  • I can't see Argentina winning this. They are too erratic. Germans too efficent.

    Commenter
    On the Fritz
    Location
    Date and time
    July 14, 2014, 5:12AM

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