Brazil have undisputedly been the most enthralling team in World Cup history and when the 2014 edition headed to the land of sun, sea and beaches, one couldn’t help but think it would be one big party with the crowning glory being the hosts wearing their sixth crown. But what panned out for the hosts was nothing short of a nightmare at the iconic Maracana.
The Selecao had been subject to the odd hiccups en route to the semifinal, with Costa Rica giving them a scare in the Round of 16. But in the semifinal, much to the dismay of an entire nation, Brazil suffered their biggest defeat on the world stage. Brazil had looked up to Neymar but the Brazilian ace suffered an injury during the game against Colombia and his absence had a big impact in the semifinal. Brazil’s slayers, an efficient German side that looked more like a Brazilian side of the old with swift passes and killer movement, went on to claim the cup. Fans were in tears even before 30 minutes of the semifinal as Die Mannschaft were on a real spree at 5-0, four of those coming in six minutes. Germany netted another two in the second half and Oscar’s 90th minute strike did little to improve the mood.
The Netherlands hit the final nail in Brazil’s coffin in the third-place play-off with a 3-0 win but there was another South American team that was going gung-ho – Argentina. Inspired by the little wizard Lionel Messi, La Albiceleste had reached their first final since 1986.
As had become the norm in World Cup finals, it was a spell of extra-time for the third consecutive tournament. Gonzalo Higuain did have the ball in the net during regulation time but the striker was flagged offside. Eventually, it would be substitute Mario Goetze’s well-taken strike in the 113th minute that sealed the deal for the Europeans, handing them their fourth title.
It was also a fantastic swansong for Miroslav Klose as the top World Cup scorer called it a day after the final.
Final result: Germany: 1 bt Argentina: 0