Penalties seemed inevitable. And then it happened.

Schurrle, found space down the left and his cross picked out Gotze, who took the ball on his chest before volleying the ball past Romero and into the far corner.

It was a goal worthy of winning any World Cup -- a wonderful strike which came with just seven minutes of the contest remaining.

Argentina tried to respond but while minds were willing, bodies were not. Messi was anonymous, his final effort from a free kick sailing high into the stand.

Those in white turned towards the center circle, the sight of gleaming gold trophy was there for all to see.

A campaign which began with the thrashing with Portugal ended with victory over the team which so many had tipped for victory.

Perhaps Argentina should have known. Never bet against Germany.