Götze: The ultimate ‘super sub’
Mario Götze produced a delightful touch of skill as the World Cup final looked destined to be decided on penalties, as he hit the winning goal for Germany to win the trophy a fourth time.
Götze’s strike came with just seven minutes remaining in extra time with the score at 0-0 and the dreaded penalty shoot-out looking to be inevitable in the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Argentina relished trying to settle for penalties because their talisman Lionel Messi was largely placated by the super efficient Germans aware of his danger in a match that looked destined to remain scoreless.
André Schürrle sprinted down the left, showing an impressive burst of energy so late in the game.
His cross in the 113th minute found Götze. The 22-year-old midfielder, who had come on as a substitute, deftly took it on his chest before flashing the volley across Sergio Romero and into the corner.
Both sides wasted chances in normal time, Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuaín and Lionel Messi both dragging wide.
Benedikt Höwedes hit the Argentine post with a header late in the first half, but Götze sparked German celebrations.
There was massive celebrating in Brazil as well as Germany. The last thing Brazil wanted was an Argentina victory.
Argentina had plenty of chances to score, but squandered them.
Bars and restaurants in Cayman were packed, especially a group of them known as Budweiser World Cup Headquarters, which the Cayman Compass supported. Most of the local support was for Argentina.
At the newly opened Overtime restaurant and bar, German national Nicholas Kestler was watching with his girlfriend Vicky Banks.
“I am extremely happy,” Mr. Kestler said. “I just knew it wasn’t going to go to penalties. Argentina only had Messi, and I had faith in Germany that they would stop him scoring. We have in Manuel Neuer one of the best keepers in the world and Messi wasn’t going to get past him.”
Daniela Ryan is a Caymanian who wore her Argentina jersey with pride. A fan for 14 years, she was optimistic that through Messi they would win, despite being underdogs.
“I feel devastated,” Ms. Ryan said. “Argentina played well but they didn’t take their chances.
“The Germans came with a game plan for Messi and had him covered all the time to stop his breakaway moments.
“He has a good few more years in those knees and I still think he can one day win it.”