UPDATE: Germany’s Mario Goetze scored a goal late in extra time to give Germany a 1-0 lead, and, about ten minutes later, the 2014 World Cup. VOA’s Mike Richman has a breakdown of the game here.
In 1986, the upstart captain of Argentina’s World Cup team by the name of Diego Maradona led his squad to the World Cup finals. Their opponent? West Germany. Nearly 115,000 packed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City to watch the back-and-forth match: Argentina’s 2-0 was equalized by two German goals within seven minutes, but they regained the lead in the 84th minute of play – and won the championship, 3-2.
Four years later, looking to avenge their loss, West Germany would find themselves back in the final, at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. Their opponent? Their foe from 1986′s final: Argentina. After 85 tense and scoreless minutes, a penalty kick by Germany would connect with the back of the net, giving Germany a 1-0 lead, and, just minutes later, the championship.
Since that last meeting in the final 24 years ago, neither team has won a World Cup.
That changes today.
A win for Argentina would mean much more than their third World Cup. It would mean a first World Cup for captain Lionel Messi, who, it seems, has won everything but. And it would mean a Cup won not only on South American soil, but in the home stadium of Brazil, one of their biggest rivals.
A win for Germany would not only make them four-time World Cup champions. A win would end a spate of near-misses in the semifinals and finals stretching back to 2002. And it would also give the country its first win since reunification in 1990.
Who will make history: Die Mannschaft or La Albiceleste? Muller or Messi? Germany or Argentina?
It all begins at 3 PM ET (7 PM UTC).
For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.
And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.