What could possibly be more exhilarating than a World Cup final being decided in extra time?
After a tournament that featured a bevy of goals, down-to-the-wire finishes and upset victories, it was only fitting that Argentina and Germany would provide such a dramatic spectacle in its championship match.
These two teams produced a defensive showdown of epic proportions with enough close calls to keep each tantalized onlooker on the edge of their seat.
Here's a look at the complete World Cup bracket, the match's final score and recap of the day's thrilling action.
World Cup Bracket
The complete 2014 World Cup bracket can be viewed at FIFA.com.
Championship Game Score
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
It was a stunning match all the way through, but in the end, Argentina's lack of scoring ability came back to haunt the team. Lionel Messi and Co. only scored eight goals in this World Cup, and their stellar defense couldn't save them in extra time against a very strong German team.
The Argentinians looked strong in the first minutes of the match.
Both Messi and Gonzalo Higuain had great looks to put their team up early, but neither was able to connect.
This is the great look that Higuain had, courtesy of ESPN, and it's still a wonder how he allowed the ball to sail wide:
Higuain was back at it later in the half, as it appeared he gave Argentina the lead, but his celebration was cut short once it was realized he was ruled offside.
Take a glance at Higuain's visible offense, via World Soccer Talk:
Late in the half, the German offense began to show some signs of life, as Thomas Mueller set up Andre Schurrle nicely, forcing a big save from Sergio Romero.
That save was followed by a German header that sent chills down the spines of Argentina fans everywhere, courtesy of Complex:
We entered halftime with a scoreless game.
Argentina began the second half just as it began the first—with some great strikes on goal.
This time, it was Messi who just barely missed his chance to become his country's hero and equalize the match, via Bleacher Report UK:
We continued to see some back-and-forth action with both sides refusing to allow a ball through its defenses. However, perhaps the writing was already on the wall. Take a look at this telling graphic from Squawka Football:
Somehow, Argentina continued to keep the Germans from a goal, and the score remained even as we headed into extra time.
The Germans continued to show some offensive prowess through the first half of extra time, but Argentina remained resilient and continued to maintain a scoreless game.
Although, it wouldn't last.
In the match's 113th minute, Germany finally struck. Mario Goetze put his team up 1-0 with a simply brilliant goal. Here's a look, via World Cup 2014:
VINE: Götze with a fantastic goal!!! http://t.co/s3sgCMPhpy— World Cup 2014 (@PostWorldCup) July 13, 2014
Messi was given one final chance to even the game with a free kick; however, his ball sailed high and the final whistle blew shortly after, making Germany the 2014 World Cup champions.
The victory marked Germany's first World Cup win since 1990 and fourth of all time, courtesy of Sports Illustrated:
Germany also became the first European team to win the World Cup on South American soil, via CNN:
Throughout the tournament, the Germans showed a great amount of talent, depth and versatility. It was a very well-deserved victory.