Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1205, (10 - 16 July 2014)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1205, (10 - 16 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Continental clash

Germany and Argentina will battle it out for the trophy of the world’s most prestigious sports event in the final of the 2014 World Cup on Sunday in Brazil. Inas Mazhar reports

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Al-Ahram Weekly

The 20th edition’s final of the World Cup will feature a clash between Europe and Latin America. Germany and Argentina have made it to the final game after beating rivals Brazil and the Netherlands who will play-off for the third place in a match that will take place on Saturday at the Estadio Nacional in Brazilia. The final will follow on Sunday at the Estadio Do Maracana in Rio De Janeiro.

The first semi-final saw the dreams of the host nation dashed in just six minutes as the Germans thrashed the Brazilians 7-1 in a one-sided game that led to a historic defeat. In a less exciting game, the Argentineans snatched the win by beating the tough Netherlands side 4-2 by penalty kicks.

As described by the FIFA official website, the Germans celebrated their victory at the Estadio Mineirao, singing noisily away, while the home team’s dressing room remained silent and quiet.

For the Brazilians, their dream of winning a sixth title on home soil began evaporating as of the 23rd minute of the match and ended in the 29th, due to an ill-fated sequence of events that will very likely go down as the most tragic 360 seconds in the history of the Brazilian national team.

The five-time winners Brazil’s head coach found it hard to explain or comment on what could be described as a disaster and a scandal. Speaking to FIFA online, he struggled with his words “I was powerless to do anything, when the crash happened,” admitted Scolari, in reference to those six minutes, which he also described as an upset. “When we let those goals in like that, I knew it was all over.”

The pictures of the shocked home fans, their tears, frustrations, riots and demonstrations that followed the match in the streets of Brazil will continue to haunt the team and make that humiliating defeat unforgettable.

On the other hand and in the second semi-final that took place on Wednesday, Sergio Romero inspired Argentina to a 4-2 victory over the Netherlands on penalties and the FIFA World Cup™ Final place for the first time in 24 years.

Despite the desperate attempts of both teams to score, it was a goalless draw at stoppage time. The match then went into injury time, which also ended 0-0, taking the match to the decisive penalty kicks. Both goalkeepers had had little to do in normal and extra time, but the Argentinean goalie Romero did plenty thereafter to turn the masses of Argentineans in Sao Paulo jubilant. The 27- year-old declared himself as the hero of the shootouts.

 

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