July 14, 2014
Germany 1, Argentina 0: After an evening of poorly-executed chances by both teams, it took one of the best goals of the competition to give Germany its first World Cup title as a unified nation (the previous three were won by West Germany). Mario Gotze's goal in the 112th minute ensured that Die Mannschaft became the first European squad ever to win the World Cup played in the Western Hemisphere, and finally bring a title to one of the illustrious generation of players in the sport's history. As in 1990, Argentina failed to cause the German goalie to make a single save, and are now the first team ever to have been eliminated by the same country in three consecutive World Cups. If the truest indicator of the quality of a tournament is that the best team is the same as the winning team, then this Cup met that criteria in spades...the two players who set up the goal, Gotze and super-sub Andre Schurrle, are the first two German players to have been born in the reunified nation, while semifinal hero Toni Kroos is the first, and probably last, person born in the defunct East Germany to win the World Cup.