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Mario Gotze scores in extra time to lift Germany to fourth World Cup title

07.13.14 at 5:38 pm ET

Mario Gotze, German national hero.

In the 113th minute of Sunday’s World Cup final, Gotze took a pass from Andre Schurrle and buried a shot inside the right post to break a 0-0 tie. Germany hung on to the one-goal lead to win its fourth World Cup, and its first since 1990. The Germans are now tied with Italy for the second-most World Cup titles all-time, trailing only Brazil (5).

Gotze and Schurrle nearly combined for a goal in the first minute of extra time. Gotze set up Schurrle in the box, but Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero came up with a huge save to keep the game deadlocked. Romero had no chance when they connected 12 minutes later, though.

Argentina had a good-looking chance in the 97th minute when a long cross from Marcos Rojo ended up falling to Rodrigo Palacio in the box. Palacio couldn’t settle the ball, though, and wound up chipping it out of play. Lionel Messi had a last-minute chance on a free kick from about 15 yards outside the box, but he sent the shot high.

Messi had a couple good runs in the first half, but his best chance came two minutes into the second half. He got behind Germany’€™s defense and had a great look from inside the box, but he sent the shot just wide of the right post. That was as close as Argentina would get in the second half.

Germany’s best chance of the second half came in the 82nd minute when Mesut Ozil set up Toni Kroos at the top of the box. Kroos had time to get set, but he wound up sending the shot wide right.

The first half featured several quality scoring chances. Argentina had the first great chance when Gonzalo Higuain ended up with a breakaway off a bad turnover by Kroos in the 21st minute. Higuain choked away the opportunity, though, as he sent a weak shot well wide of the left post. Nine minutes later, Higuain appeared to avenge himself when he buried a feed from Ezequiel Lavezzi, but the play was correctly ruled offside.

Germany had two great chances late in the first half. In the 37th minute, Thomas Muller made a nice run to set up Schurrle, but Romero made a nice diving save. Then in first-half stoppage time, Benedikt Howedes hit the post with a header off a Kroos corner.

The first half was marred by one of the biggest criticisms of FIFA — its concussion protocol. Germany’€™s Christoph Kramer, who was in the lineup only because of an injury to Sami Khedira in warmups, took a shoulder to the head in the 17th minute. Despite the fact that he had trouble getting up and clearly looked dazed, he was allowed to stay in the game. Thirteen minutes later, Kramer fell to the ground and was finally taken out.

This was the third World Cup final between Germany and Argentina in the last 28 years. Argentina won in 1986, while Germany took the title in 1990.