Magical Goetze eclipses Messi as Germany win Cup

admin   •   July 14, 2014   •   2564

Germany's players pose for pictures as they celebrate with their World Cup trophy after winning their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014

Germany’s players pose for pictures as they celebrate with their World Cup trophy after winning their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014

(Reuters) – A world class Mario Goetze volley in extra time fired Germany to a fourth World Cup crown with a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday, leaving the South Americans and their captain Lionel Messi heartbroken.

The thunderous clash between Germany, Brazil’s 7-1 semi-final conquerors, and their bitter rivals had seemed headed for penalties until Andre Schuerrle escaped down the left after 113 minutes and sent in a cross that substitute Goetze controlled on his chest before slamming past goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

The magical strike meant Germany became the only European team to win the World Cup in the Americas, and left the superlative Messi without the title he so craved to crown his glittering career.

“All of Germany is world champion now,” the winners’ immense goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. “We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now. At some point we’ll stop celebrating but we’ll always keep waking up with a smile.”

It will be a richly deserved smile.

As much as all of Argentina hankered for a triumph on Brazilian soil, Germany were worth their win over a subdued Messi and his team mates who counter-attacked dangerously but lacked their opponents’ more fluid passing moves.

Messi’s poor final was summed up with virtually the last kick of the game when he had a chance to score a sensational equalizer with a free-kick 30 meters out.

The world’s best player never troubled the world’s best goalkeeper, however, blasting his effort high and wide and seconds later Germany were champions and Argentina were crushed.

“We gave it all, all our bodies could endure,” Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. “The pain is immense because we wanted to take the cup back to Argentina.

“The pain will last forever.”

GERMANY ROCKED

Germany’s preparations had been rocked before kickoff when midfielder Sami Khedira, one of the tournament’s best players, pulled a calf muscle in the warm-up.

He was replaced in the starting lineup by Christoph Kramer, who had only made two brief substitute appearances earlier.

But Kramer only lasted 32 minutes, going off after a collision with Ezequiel Garay’s shoulder which left him looking dazed, and Germany had to rejig their side again.

Coach Joachim Loew brought Schuerrle on in an attacking midfield role with Mesut Ozil dropping back into a more defensive, central position.

Despite the upheavals Germany ended the half with 65 percent possession and came close to seeing that domination pay off when Benedikt Hoewedes headed powerfully against a post just before the interval, although a linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain should have done far better before that, though, when he was gifted a chance in the 20th minute following a careless header towards his own goal by Germany midfielder Toni Kroos.

WASTED CHANCE

The loose ball went straight to Higuain but, with only keeper Neuer to beat, he dragged his shot embarrassingly wide.

Ten minutes later he swept the ball home after a perfect cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi and went on a long celebratory run thinking he had scored, but he was rightly flagged offside.

Messi, who generally had a subdued game without making much impact with his jinking runs, did have a good chance two minutes after the break when he escaped the shackles of the defenders but his angled shot went narrowly wide of the far post.

As the half progressed there was an air of inevitability that the match would move into extra time, although Kroos could have settled it before then if he had struck an 82nd minute shot with greater accuracy instead of sidefooting the ball wide.

Argentina could have broken the deadlock in the first period of extra time when exhausted defender Mats Hummels allowed Argentina substitute Rodrigo Palacio a chance to score but Neuer came out very fast and the substitute lobbed his effort wide.

The game was finally decided by 22-year-old Goetze’s great strike, a fitting finale with the 171st goal of the tournament that tied the record set in France in 1998.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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US Military: No footage on Baghdadi’s death will be released

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump answers a reporter’s question as he participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 07 October 2019. At right is United States Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EPA-EFE/Ron Sachs

Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were no plans to share footage on his death, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley announced on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria.

Trump said earlier that part of the footage on the operation would be released, but military sources said that the footage might expose some confidential information about the U.S. military, adding that the footage should go through strict checks before it is published.

The Associated Press on Monday released footage taken by a witness when the U.S. military launched a raid in northwestern Syria — but the authenticity of the footage has not been verified.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday expressed “prudent welcome” to Baghdadi’s death, saying the U.S. has made a big contribution to fighting terrorism “if confirmed”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it does not have reliable information about the U.S. operation in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria that allegedly killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday stressed that the extremist ideology and the support for it still exist in the Middle East, and the death of Baghdadi was a “creature” killed by the U.S.

On the same day, Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiee said al-Baghdadi’s death is the end of a symbol of “destructive terrorism,” and the U.S. should end its interventions in the Middle East. (Reuters)

Tokyo 2020 gymnastics, boccia venue unveiled

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) on Tuesday (October 29) unveiled the new Ariake Gymnastics Centre, which will host Gymnastic and Boccia events during the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The 12,000-seat, 30-meter height venue, whose construction was completed on 25 October, has no pillar in the performance area.

The central element of the architecture is a 90-meter spanned, local larch wood roof that arches over the building’s core.

Timbers of Larch were all domestically sourced including from Hokkaido, Nagano and Miyazaki prefectures to name a few.

The venue, located in the Ariake district of the Japanese capital that will host many other Olympic events, will be also used as an exhibition center when the Games are over.

One of the Tokyo 2020 officials at a press viewing of the venue, Koichi Fukui, told reporters that wood materials would eventually be used as partitions at exhibitions and all the bench boards would be recycled into shoe shelves for schools.

The venue will host the 34th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in November. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Yoko Kono)

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