Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET): Gotze’s extra-time goal wins the World Cup

July 14, 2014
Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET): Gotze’s extra-time goal wins the World Cup

Germany won their fourth World Cup after victory over Argentina in a tense but enjoyable final.

Joachim Low’s team selection was compromised by the late withdrawal of Sami Khedira through injury. Christoph Kramer took his place – although he only lasted 30 minutes himself.

Alejandro Sabella’s side was unchanged from the semi-final against the Netherlands.

Both sides had promising moments in an even match – Argentina had the better chances before Mario Gotze’s late winner. Read more »

Argentina 0-0 Netherlands: Argentina through on penalties

July 10, 2014
Argentina 0-0 Netherlands: Argentina through on penalties

Sergio Romero was the hero after an extremely uneventful 120 minutes.

Alejandro Sabella brought back Marcos Rojo after suspension, while Enzo Perez deputised for the injured Angel di Maria.

Louis van Gaal was able to bring back Nigel de Jong after injury, meaning Daley Blind moved across to wing-back in place of Memphis Depay.

There was obviously great tension here, but not much happened – of the 62 games at this World Cup so far, this game featured the lowest shot rate, and the lowest percentage of touches in the opposition third. Read more »

Germany 7-1 Brazil: Germany record a historic thrashing, winning the game in 30 minutes

July 9, 2014
Germany 7-1 Brazil: Germany record a historic thrashing, winning the game in 30 minutes

In one of the most incredible matches in World Cup history, this ridiculous scoreline was an entirely fair reflection of Germany’s dominance.

Jogi Low named an unchanged side from the XI that had narrowly defeated France in the quarter-final.

Luiz Felipe Scolari was without the suspended Thiago Silva, and the injured Neymar. Dante was the obvious replacement at the back, while tricky winger Bernard was a surprise choice to replace Neymar, with Oscar moving inside to become the number ten. Luiz Gustavo returned after suspension, with Paulinho dropping out.

Incredibly, this game was finished after half an hour – it was 5-0, and Brazil were simply trying to avoid further embarrassment. Read more »

Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica: Oranje progress after van Gaal’s late keeper switch

July 6, 2014
Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica: Oranje progress after van Gaal’s late keeper switch

The Dutch dominated but couldn’t find a way past Keylor Navas – then finally broke their penalty shoot-out curse. Read more »

Argentina 1-0 Belgium: Argentina become even more reliant on Messi

July 6, 2014
Argentina 1-0 Belgium: Argentina become even more reliant on Messi

In their fifth World Cup game, Argentina recorded their fifth one-goal victory.

Alejandro Sabella was without Marcos Rojo so brought in Jose Basanta at left-back, and replaced Federico Fernandez and Fernando Gago with Martin Demichelis and Lucas Biglia.

Marc Wilmots played Kevin Mirallas rather than Dries Mertens on the right flank, but otherwise the side was as expected.

Belgium remain a group of individuals, while Argentina play to the strengths of one individual.
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