Argentina probably managed their best performance of the tournament but missed chances, most notably by Gonzalo Higuaín and Rodrigo Palacio, proved costly and eventually a moment of brilliance by Mario Götze deep into extra time earned Germany a fourth World Cup.
Just like in 1990, Argentina suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Germany in a World Cup Final and left the nation experiencing the feeling of pride and pain in equal measure. If it had not been for wasteful finishing, the party at the Obelisco and throughout Argentina and Brasil would have been very different.
The same side that stifled the Netherlands in the Semi Final, produced the same resolute performance against Germany and probably should have led at half time. Although Germany dominated possession, Argentina were dangerous on the break and on a couple of occasions if perhaps a few more players were committed forward someone could have profited by cut backs.
Gonzalo Higuaín missed the best opportunity when he capitalised on a poor heading back to goal but when faced one-on-one with Manuel Neuer, the Napoli striker dragged his effort wide. Higuaín did later have the ball in the net only to see the linesman correctly rule it out for offside.
Benedikt Howedes had the best chance for Germany late in the first half but his free header came back off the post.
Alejandro Sabella should be praised for the job that he has done at this World Cup but perhaps the introduction of Sergio Agüero at half time in place of Ezequiel Lavezzi was a mistake. Agüero has not convinced at any point during the tournament and although ordinarily would be favoured over Lavezzi, Pocho has been far more successful.
The second half was equally tight and although Messi flashed an effort across the face of the goal just minutes in, nothing could separate the sides.
The game was decided in extra time but Argentina will once again rue a big chance missed. Substitute Rodrigo Palacio was picked out by Marcos Rojo and although his chest control was good, the attempted lob finish was abysmal.
With the clock running down and another penalty shoot-out looming, the German substitutes combined down the left. Andre Schurrle’s cross found Mario Gotze in a pocket of space and he expertly controlled the ball before volleying past Sergio Romero.
There was no time for Argentina to respond and so just like in 1990, Argentina suffered the indignity of watching Germany lift the trophy.