Jubilant Germany becomes world champions again

Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:48pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Germany are champions of the world again after snatching victory against Argentina in the soccer showpiece with a superb extra-time goal from baby-faced Mario Goetze to lift the trophy for the first time since 1990.

Hatched from the agony of their recent near-misses, Germany's triumph secured a fourth World Cup title - their first since the country was reunited 24 years ago - with a nail-biting 1-0 win in Sunday's final at the sprawling Maracana.

The win, sealed by substitute Goetze's brilliantly taken strike in the 113th minute, marked the first time a European country had won the sport's greatest prize in the Americas, although this World Cup was ultimately a triumph for all.

"We have been together for 55 days but the work started 10 years ago with (former national team manager) Juergen Klinsmann," said Germany coach Joachim Loew.

"We did everything to experience this day. The team really deserved it. No one deserved it more than us."

The Argentina team, their homeland still recovering from a crippling debt crisis, were brave in defeat and with a bit more luck might well have won the greatest prize in sport.

They squandered a string of chances but lost no admirers in a match that was full of end-to-end action and unrelenting tension over two hours.

"I am very proud. The boys played an extraordinary World Cup," said Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella.   Continued...

Germany's players pose for pictures as they celebrate with their World Cup trophy after winning their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder