As the Final between Germany and Argentina entered the second-period of extra-time, I desperately wanted a goal from either side to settle the contest rather than it go to penalties. The reason? Brazil 2014 has been a memorable tournament and it needed to be sealed with something special. Thankfully it arrived on 113 minutes, Schurrle (who had done well whenever he came off the bench for the Germans), bustled down the wing before delivering a ball inside where another substitute, Gotze, controlled it beautifully on the chest before volleying home. A wonderful finish to a brilliant competition.
Of course we all know that it is the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany tonight. However, at Adidas Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, there will be celebrations whatever the outcome as the winning team will be wearing kit made by the German company. Nike had to make-do with their two big-hitters (Brazil and Netherlands) squabbling over the play-off fixture yesterday.
Now whilst many may consider that the fixture holds little merit and is the game that nobody wants to play in, the fact is that when you enter the competition you know it is there, it’s part of the tournament and therefore it’s a possibility you may have to take part in it – whether you like it or not. Of course the only prize is that of becoming World Champions, but only one team can achieve that.
The second Semi-Final was always going to struggle to shine after the events of Tuesday night and indeed the ninety minutes of normal time were as damp as the weather conditions in Sao Paulo.
It was quite simply the craziest six minutes of a football game I have ever seen as Germany scored four goals against a Brazil side that simply imploded, and in the process tarnished the name of the great Brazilian teams of the past. Do I feel sorry for them? Not a bit. The antics of Marcelo and coach Scolari in the opening game against Croatia and their fortunate penalty in that fixture set me against the hosts from day one. And in amongst their spineless display against Germany last night, they dived and were cynical in the tackle. Okay they aren’t the only team in this tournament doing it, but for me the myth about Brazil and their tradition for the ‘beautiful game’ was shattered. Credit to the Germans they beat what was in front of them and good luck to them in the Final. Congratulations also to Klose for setting a new record for goals in World Cup Finals.