We shall be forever thankful to Mario Gotze for saving us from penalty-kick conclusion

Posted: 07/13/2014 in soccer
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How nice it was for Mario Gotze of Germany to score late in extra time to make sure the World Cup final wasn’t decided by penalty kicks.

Gotze controlled a cross from Andre Schurrle with his chest before smacking a close-range, left-foot blast past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 114th minute to give Germany a dramatic 1-0 victory in Sunday’s championship match in Rio de Janeiro.

I’m sure there were many people like me fearing the solid match would be decided by penalty kicks – one of the dumbest ways to ever decide a title.

Can you imagine an NBA Finals game going two overtime periods and then everybody stopping and deciding it by making – or missing – free throws? Or the Super Bowl reaching a point in which the action is halted and the outcome is determined by kicking extra points?

Obviously, Dwight Howard wouldn’t be needed to participate in the free-throw shooting and could just depart the premises. And, um, how confused would Donovan McNabb get over the extra-point twist?

Thankfully, the soccer match was decided before we had to endure those shenanigans as Germany celebrates its first World Cup title since 1990 and its fourth overall.

Manuel Neuer played superbly in goal and the Germany defensive tactics made it difficult for Argentina star Lionel Messi to operate. Messi came up empty on his few opportunities, including a wide shot when the game was scoreless.

In fact, Messi had two late chances but headed the first attempt high and then his late free kick was so high over the goal that it undoubtedly landed somewhere near Panama.

Then again, I’m glad Messi didn’t sneak in a late goal. Then we would have gone to penalty kicks and we just can’t have that.

Because that would be like halting a World Series game after 12 innings and deciding it with stolen-base attempts.

Ummmmmm, thank you very much Mario Gotze.


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