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World Cup 2014: Germany's road to the final

World Cup 2014: Germany's road to the final

Germany put on two of the most explosive displays of the tournament - beating Portugal 4-0 in the group stage and demolishing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semis.

Germany put on two of the most explosive displays of the tournament - beating Portugal 4-0 in their opening game and demolishing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals. That was an as intimidating way as possible for a team to intimidate their opponents.

Now, when Germany take on Argentina in the Sunday's World Cup final at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, the contrasting styles of play promise an enthralling battle between Europe and South America. The best player in the world will be up against probably the world's best side and on the world's biggest stage.

At first glance, it looks like an encounter between brilliant individual talent and the tight discipline of a collective unit. But Argentina have shown that they can play just as shrewd as the Germans, winning games by narrow margins and doing whatever is needed to win.

Both the teams faced each other in two straight World Cup finals in 1986 and 1990, with Maradona's brilliance winning Argentina the title in '86 and West Germany exacting revenge in '90.

With the third final between the two just hours away, let's take a look at how the mighty Germans made it to the final of this edition:

GROUP STAGE

Germany 4-0 Portugal

The Germans routed the Portuguese 4-0 in the opening match of Group G, courtesy Thomas Mueller's hat-trick. Mueller, who scored five goals at the 2010 World Cup, was ruthless against a weak Portugal team that was clearly outplayed.

Germany 2-2 Ghana

Ghana held Germany to a 2-2 draw in their second group match played in humid Fortaleza, with veteran striker Miroslav Klose coming on as a substitute to score the equaliser in the higly entertaining match. Ghana gave the favoured Germans a real contest in a pulsating match but Klose's 71st-minute strike earned Germany a crucial point.

Germany 1-0 USA

Mueller scored his fourth goal of the World Cup as Germany defeated the United States in Recife to top Group G ahead of the Americans. Mueller scored in the 55th minute with a side-footed shot from the edge of the box.

ROUND OF 16

Germany 2-1 Algeria

Germany were pushed all the way by an inspired Algeria before Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil eventually secured a 2-1 extra-time victory at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre to send the former champions into the quarter-finalS where they met France.

QUARTER-FINAL

Germany 1-0 France

Germany reached the World Cup semi-finals for the fourth straight time by beating France with a solitary goal in Rio, thanks to a first-half strike from Mats Hummels, who headed home a Toni Kroos' free-kick in the 13th minute to convert one of the few chances the Germans created during a keenly-contested match.

SEMI-FINAL

Germany 7-1 Brazil

Germany made a mockery of Brazil's defence to hand the host nation their heaviest World Cup loss ever with an astounding 7-1 rout in the semi-finals. Klose scored a world record-setting 16th career World Cup goal in a five-goal spurt in the first half as Brazil's defence was torn apart. Andre Schuerrle, who came in as a substitute in the second half, scored from a cross by Lahm in the 69th, and then knocked a shot off the underside of the crossbar and into the net in the 79th against a hapless Brazil side that sorely missed star striker Neymar, who was ruled out ahead of the match with a broken vertebra.