Mario Goetze’s goal in overtime, plus Manuel Neuer’s staunch defense, secures a 1-0 victory against Argentina and Germany’s first title since 1990
Fireworks usually go off on at the stroke of midnight, ringing in the new year, here in Germany. Yet tonight is the exception, as every town in Germany is setting them off, blowing their horns using vuvuzelas, and celebrating Germany’s fourth World Cup Title. After pasting the Brazilians in a goal-festival at Belo Horizonte, six days earlier, by a score of 7-1, the German soccer team needed overtime, a staunch defense, led by goalie Manuel Neuer, and defensive players Jerome Boateng, Sebastian Schweinsteiger and Philip Lahm, and pure luck by Mario Goetze in the 113th minute, to edge the Argentinans by a score of 1-0. The game was marked by several fouls and total of four yellow cards, resulting in several injuries on both sides. Yet, in the end, Germany prevailed in front of a crowd of almost 90,000 people in Rio de Janeiro, and won its fourth title since defeating Argentina in the 1990 Cup by the same score, yet under the name of West Germany. The country was reunified in October 1990, four months after winning the title. The team had won the World Cup titles before that in 1954 and 1974. As a unified country (consisting of the former East and West Germanys), this victory is their first, after several mishaps in the last 24 years, including two third place finishes in 2006 and 2010 and a second place finish in 2002, losing to Brazil in the Finals 2-0. Thanks to a string offensive showing by Thomas Mueller, André Schuerrle, Mesmuz Özil and Miroslav Klose (who broke Renaldo’s record for the most goals scored on the international stage in his final World Cup Appearance), Germany finished the World Cup Title with six wins and a tie, outscoring the opponents 18-3, including tonight’s victory.This includes a 1-0 victory against the US in pool play 18 days ago.
With Germany’s victory and its fourth title, the next question will be when the team will win the European Title in 2016. That we will see, once the party is over and we know who will stay and who will go. It is known though that Joachim Loewe will most likely stay on as the coach of the national team beyond 2014. And it serves him well after this trip and this title. The Flensburg Files would like to congratulate the German soccer team on its fourth World Cup title.
Giant Storm Causes Widespread Damage throughout Germany. World Cup in Brazil in Full Gear. Hamburg SV Handball Team Finished?
Getting off the train this morning at Erfurt Central Station in central Thuringia, passengers received a shock of their lives, as the sounds of thunder and lightning made the state capital sound like warfare going on. Pick any war in the last 20 years and it was reenacted by mother nature. And this in addition to heavy rains that flooded streets and brought the vehicular infrastructure to a complete standstill for a time. But this was the overture to the series of storms that occurred over the course of two days, ending today, which is comparable to Hurricane Kyrill in February 2007, and caused severe damage throughout all of Germany. More on that and a pair of sports-related items in the Files’ Newsflyer.
Local Flooding in Cologne, Rostock and Berlin. Downed trees in the Ruhr River area, northern Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt. Train services suspended. Power outages everywhere. This was a familiar sign when Kyrill brought all of Germany to a complete standstill in 2007. Yet with the storm system sweeping through Germany yesterday and today, it brought back memories of the event. Sweltering heat gave way to golfball-sized hail, high winds and torrential downpour that caused critical damage to many cities throughout Germany. Fallen trees and flooding caused several raillines to suspend services, including the hardest hit area, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the German railways suspended all services statewide yesterday for the fourth time since 2007. Officials there are predicting services to return to normal by the weekend. Stations in Essen, Dusseldorf and Cologne were cut off from the rest of the rail network. Raillines between Berlin, Hamburg and places to the north and west were either closed down or rerouted. Over 100,000 travelers were stranded or had to find alternatives, which didn’t fare better with motorways being blocked due to downed trees and other objects. Damage is estimated to be more than $135 million. News sources are predicting a clean-up effort taking up to more than a week to complete; this includes restoring the infrastructure affected by the storm. More information and photos can be found here.
Hamburger SV Handball Team to Fold?
Once deemed as the one of the powerhouses of German handball, especially after winning the Champions League Title last year, the handball team from Hamburg’s days as a Premere League team may be numbered. Faced with a 2.7 million Euro deficit (ca. $4.4 million), no president since the resignation of Andreas Rudolph in May and with that, the team’s main sponsor withdrawing its financial support, the team was denied entrance to the first and second leagues. Its last attempt to save face and be allowed to play next season in the Premere League is to overturn the decision by the German Handball League through the arbitration panel. The decision should take place on Wednesday. Should the panel uphold the decision or Hamburg withdraw its appeal, the team will be forced to play in the Regional League (3rd League) in the next season. In addition, the team will not be allowed to participate in the European Cup in the next season, despite finishing fourth in the standings. Melsungen would replace the spot left vacant. And lastly, the team will most likely file for bankruptcy, which could lead to the club being liquidated, should no one step in with money to help them. Such a free fall would be catastrophic, as Hamburg has competed well against the likes of the 2014 Season and German Cup champions, THW Kiel, as well as Berlin, Rhine-Neckar Lions, and the 2014 Champions League winners, SG Flensburg-Handewitt. More information can be found here.
World Cup begins tomorrow
Germany and the US are two of 32 teams that will go head-to head with the competitors beginning tomorrow. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place in Brazil at 12 several locations, with the Championship to take place on July 13th in Rio de Janeiro. For the first time since 1930, all the teams winning a World Cup will participate in the competition (Argentina, England, France, Italy, Spain, Uruguay, and Germany). Spain is the returning champion, having edged the Netherlands in the 2010 Cup. This is the fifth time the Cup is taking place in South America, which has been won by teams from that continent the last four times. That means Brazil is the heavy favorites to take the Cup. More interesting is the pool play, in particular, Group G, where the US and Germany are in. They are scheduled to meet on 26 June in Recife. The stakes are high for the head coaches of both teams, who are both looking for their first World Cup title. Jurgen Klinnsmann is being criticized for the American team being Europeanized, which could be his downfall if his team does not make it. Joachim Loewe is hoping that winning the title will improve his chances of a contract extension before 2016. With both teams hobbling with players banged up from regular season competition, it will be interesting to see how the match will turn out, let alone, who will go far in the Cup. More on the Cup to come in the Files. If you want to know more about the tournament, click here for details.