Deutschland ueber alles

Ok, maybe that's a bit much; let's all be glad that isn't the nationanl anthem any more (though I did just find out that the model of the "perfect aryan child" used by the Third Reich was Jewish, which is hilariously ironic).

My prediction of the score was definitely way off the mark, and Germany's match against Argentina was far more of a piece with the rest of this World Cup.

Argentina, still missing di Maria, was largely content to sit back against the Germans, and attempt counterattacks.  And that strategy worked ok for them, as all of their chances came on the counterattack.  But they had a bit of bad luck, as Higuain (called hig-wayne by one of the commentators; think rhyming with lil' wayne's older brother) put the shot off to the side of the net on his first chance, when he tried to chip Neuer* (Boateng might well have been able to head it away if it had been on target).  And Higuain was called offside on his second chance, which did end up in the net; his celebration went halfway around the field before he noticed the flag.

* A small shout-out to the German midfielder who headed it over his defense, and straight to Higuain to give him that chance.

But the Germans had even less luck.  Repeatedly going into the teeth of a harsh and ready defense, they had few chances; none as good as either of those by Higuain.

The only decent chance I can remember from Argentina in the second half had them again shooting wide from in-close, but I have no notes on the game, so I can't say when it happened.  Or exactly who had it, for that matter.

In any event, Germany had some good chances in the second, but only forced one good save that I can recall.

So, into extra time they went, again tied at nil (for the fifth time, by my count).  And really, not much was going on there.  Nobody got terribly close (there were several dangerous free kicks, but none were close to scoring) before Goetze received the ball in the box in the 113th minute.  He had some time, but was still quick to blast it past Romero for the lead.  And for the win, as it turned out.

Argentina tried pushing forward, but had no luck.  Their best chance came in stoppage time, when Messi had a 25-yard or so free kick, but the direct shot went well over the net.

And, with that, Argentina's chances dimished to nil, and the Germans started celebrating.

Loew, like van Gaal, also showed some class, subbing Mertesacker in for Oezil just before stoppage time.  I assume that was mostly as a career thank-you for Mertesacker, who has given yeoman service to the national team in the past, but played very little in this tournament (I think he might have been a late sub in one previous game.  Maybe).

So, despite a bunch of surprises along the way, the tournament ended with a predictable bunch, and a predictable victor.  In fact, I seem to recall a friend telling me that a computer simulation (done by ESPN with the latest FIFA game, I think) came up with Germany as the winner before play started.

And I was certainly hoping for German victory, so I was happy with the result (and I can't express just how much happier I am that it didn't go to penalty kicks).  I wonder how Klinsmann feels...

(And I feel a bit sorry for Messi, who's undoubtedly getting a great deal of undeserved criticism from Argentinian fans.)

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