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FIFA World Cup Final

Germany, the now four-time world champions, the first European team to win it on South American soil, earned the honour of lifting the most recognised trophy in sports with a tooth-and-nail 1-0 victory in a final as terrifically entertaining as the tournament itself.
Argentines reacted with tears, cheers and violence after the dream of a third World Cup title slipped through their fingers, as clashes between hooligans and police ended a massive street party.

Mario Goetze’s sensational goal in the 113th minute Sunday had shattered a scoreless tie with Argentina, and now as extra time was nearing the end, the roar from Germany’s supporters at Maracanã stadium swelled to ear-popping levels.

Germany wished to hear only one sound: referee Nicola Rizzoli’s whistle.

And when the 1-0 victory before 74,738 spectators was certified, a celebration 24 years in the making erupted at midfield, on the sideline, in the crowd and in the VIP section with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Goetze’s goal capped not only a rigorous affair with Lionel Messi and the Argentines, but completed a month of excellence in Brazil. It also capped a 10-year mission, begun under current U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, to reinvigorate one of the world’s most successful soccer programs.

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