RIO DE JANEIRO (CBS) -- For almost two hours, it seemed that Germany and Argentina would have to settle the World Cup final with penalty kicks.
But then, almost out of nowhere, backup forward Mario Goetze settled a cross and beat Sergio Romero far post -- the first goal allowed by Argentina in some seven hours of game time -- to lift Germany to its fourth World Cup title.
The match was even throughout, with Argentina earning some golden opportunites in the first half, but they were unable to convert.
Gonzalo Higuain had the two best chances for Argentina. His first, brought on by a gaffe in the German defense, left him one-on-one with the keeper, but his shot was well wide. Later he buried a goal into the net, but he was needlessly offsides.
The teams continued the scoreless play throughout the second half and for the majority of extra time. It was pretty flat, to be honest, until Goetze's goal, which came from a good ball across sent in. Frankly, it seemed no different than any of the other balls sent in the box Sunday. Goetze's finish was just better, and that was the difference.
It was another flat effort from international superstar Lionel Messi, who had a few moments of brilliance but failed to find goal for the fourth straight game after scoring four times in the group stage. It was difficult, of course, especially with German defenders surrounding him at all times. He had little help up front -- even though Higuain had chances -- and the absence of Angel Di Maria certainly didn't help.
So in the end, Messi couldn't do it all for Argentina, and Germany had just enough.