How Germany won the 2014 World Cup in 5 simple steps

The Germans triumph 1-0 in extra-time of the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina

How Germany won the 2014 World Cup in 5 simple steps

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Andy

July 14th, 2014

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Last night’s World Cup final was witnessed over two British channels by a peak of more than 20 million viewers; showing that interest in the international showpiece was still strong in the UK despite England’s exceedingly early exit.

The night belonged to Germany, who ran out 1-0 winners after extra time courtesy of a Mario Götze goal with seven minutes of the added 30 remaining. Commentators and fans alike paid tribute to the Germans’ solid team effort – while also sympathising with Lionel Messi’s failed attempt to emulate previous Argentinian winners.

On the road to lifting the World Cup trophy for the fourth time, Germany played seven matches. Here’s a breakdown of Germany’s path to victory.

Group stage

In a group consisting of Portugal, Ghana and the United States, Germany were always fancied to progress – but their opening 4-0 demolition of the Portuguese was compounded only by the red card shown to Pepe for butting heads with Thomas Müller, who was already being somewhat extravagant with a blow he’d been given. In the second game, Miroslav Klose rescued a 2-2 draw against Ghana before coach Joachim Löw recorded a win over his mentor Jürgen Klinsmann as Germany beat the States 1-0, sending both teams through due to Portugal’s inferior goal difference.

Round of 16

Germany topped their group and were rewarded with a last-16 tie against Group H runners-up Algeria. It took extra time to separate the sides after a goalless – and soulless – 90 minutes from Germany, who were surprised by a strong Algerian side at several points. Andre Schurrle got an early goal in extra time before Mesut Özil ensured victory, despite a late, late goal by Abdelmoumene Djabou to keep the Germans on their toes until the end.

Quarter-Final

When illness struck the German camp it was thought that they’d miss as many as seven squad members before their quarter-final tie with France – with defender Mats Hummels missing the win against Algeria – but it was he that made the difference in the game with a 12th-minute header. It proved a disappointing exit for France, who had previously made the semi-finals each time they’d got out of the group, but Germany took heart from great defending if not a settled rhythm.

Semi-final

Though Germany were far from underdogs in what was a much tighter game on paper, nobody could have foreseen the events of their semi-final match against Brazil. The discipline and teamwork on display were remarkable as the Germans picked the World Cup hosts apart over an astounding 90 minutes, with five goals in the opening half-hour and an overall 7-1 victory. Miroslav Klose got his name in the record books by becoming the top World Cup goalscorer of all time, while Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle bagged a brace each. The Brazilian team had never before been so humbled, while Germany only had one thing left to do to seal a remarkable tournament…

Final

…which they did by beating Argentina last night, although it took extra time and a stunning strike by Götze to do so – not to mention two unforeseen changes to their side as Sami Khedira was cruelly injured just before kick-off and his replacement Christoph Kramer went off before half-time from a nasty blow to the head.

With this, their fourth World Cup, Germany are the first European team ever to win the tournament on South American soil and look set to dominate international football for years to come – capping off a decade of preparation and the crowning achievement of its young stars.

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