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World Cup 2014 : Five moments that decided the Argentina vs Germany final

AFP  Rio De Janeiro, July 14, 2014
First Published: 04:32 IST(14/7/2014) | Last Updated: 09:19 IST(14/7/2014)

Germany won the World Cup for the fourth time on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Argentina thanks to Mario Goetze's extra time goal at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Here, is a look at five moments which swung the match in the Germans' favour:
   
Higuain chance - 21 minutes
 
After a cagey opening, Argentina were handed a glorious chance to open the scoring when Toni Kroos' misplaced header put Gonzalo Higuain clean through on goal.
 
However, the Napoli striker pulled his shot horribly wide of goal to let Kroos off the hook.

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Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain scores in off-side. AP
 
Messi inches from glory - 46 minutes
 
Lionel Messi's moment to seal his place amongst the greatest players of all time by scoring in a World Cup final seemed to have arrived just after the break as he slipped the German offside trap and lined up a shot on his favoured left foot, but the ball flashed inches past Manuel Neuer's far post.

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Argentina's Lionel Messi shoots as Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes tries to block. AP 
  
Neuer's lucky escape - 57 minutes
 
German keeper Neuer was roundly praised for his sweeper-keeper abilities in the round of 16 win over Algeria, but a rush from his line could have cost his side dear as he clattered into Higuain just inside the area.
 
However, instead of pointing to the spot and possible showing Neuer a red card, referee Nicola Rizzoli  awarded a free-kick to Germany for a supposed foul by Higuain.

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Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Argentina's forward Gonzalo Higuain compete for the ball during the final. AFP
  
Palacio miss - 96 minutes
 
The chances kept coming for Argentina, but so did the misses as five minutes into extra time it was substitute Rodrigo Palacio who sent the ball wide after controlling Marcos Rojo's cross.

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Argentina's forward Rodrigo Palacio (C) tries to score past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. AFP
  
Goetze goal - 113 minutes
 
The breakthrough was finally broken by Joachim Loew's men seven minutes from the end of extra time as Goetze controlled Andre Schuerrle's whipped cross from the left before stretching to volley past the helpless Sergio Romero.

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Germany's forward Mario Goetze scores. AFP

Read: Even Christ the Redeemer couldn't save Argentina
Read: Shakira, Santana, samba for closing ceremony at Maracana
Read:
Five momentous moments from Germany vs Argentina final that decided the outcome
Read: 16 remarkable facets of Miroslav Klose's stupendous run
Read:
Messi squanders chance to join the greats


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