However, there’s no point in watching any sport without taking sides. It adds to the enjoyment if you pick a team or player to support and for me this was all about Germany. I’d seen Germany a couple of times and was impressed with the exceptional skills displayed by every player in the squad. Against Brazil in the semis they were magic. I’d also picked them to win the Cup after a glimpse of their first round match. Argentina I hadn’t seen at all during the tournament, but teams that get to the final usually deserve their place.
The real reason I went was to have a new experience: an encounter with a ‘Dusty Gringo’ at 8am in the morning. No, not one of the very good looking Argentine males assembled there but an excellent brew from the Deep Creek range. Even the pea-souper didn’t deter me from arriving just after the referee’s whistle had blown for the start of the game.
What stunning hosts the Cove staff are. Despite a packed room they brought out breakfasts and coffees with every bit as much calm and skill as we were witnessing on their big screen. Combined with excellent company and the hope of a world class soccer match it was enough to reassure me I’d made the right decision.
And a great final it turned out to be. Cove was packed with, mostly, Argentinian supporters decked in blue and white. They were a happy bunch of enthusiastic but orderly mums and dads, babies and children, friends and supporters. We few Germany supporters were holed up against the back wall but made enough noise to let the Argies know we were there.
In truth these were two evenly matched sides, either could have won, but as the game continued goalless towards ninety minutes I felt the Germans were gaining the upper hand. Extra time would favour their relentless forward pressure and so it proved. When Goetze scored the winning goal late into extra time the German fans erupted but all was sadness and resignation from the majority.
How painful those last seven minutes must have been for them. How nail biting for the Germans. Remember the nerve racking final ten minutes of the RWC when the ABs were hanging on to the trophy by a mere point. Such is the nature of sport at any level let alone the best.
This was a World Cup Final worthy of the beautiful game: great skill from both sides, moments of sheer brilliance, probing attacks and dogged defence. Germany were worthy winners but there was no disgrace for Argentina, they were magnificent. Thanks Brazil for hosting one of the best World Cups ever…and thanks Cove for the Dusty Gringo, my first ever morning brew.