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World Cup: How good was the winning goal?

The World Cup winner....Mario Gotze of Germany shown scoring the winning goal.
The World Cup winner....Mario Gotze of Germany shown scoring the winning goal.
CBS Sports

To a Texas football (the pigskin variety) fan who is not that familiar with soccer, the goal that won the the World Cup for Germany against Argentina was incredibly great. To put it in the jargon of a non-soccer person it was difficult to conceive of how a player could receive the ball from his teammate on his chest, bounce it in the air and then kick it off his foot past a diving goalkeeper. And this all happened within a split second.

Two bench warmers teamed up to pull it off for Germany in the waning moments. Andre Schurrle streaked down the sideline controlling the ball while Mario Gotze raced parallel down the field toward the Argentine goal.

Suddenly the ball was kicked by Schurrle to the middle of the field as the 23 -year old Gotze streaked toward the Argentine goal. The ball floated off Schurrle's foot into Gotze who somehow controlled it by bouncing it into the air off his chest. Miraculously his foot found the ball and sent it sailing past goalkeeper and into the goal.

But to soccer sophisticates, was it really that great a shot or was it a routine shot?

"It was a world class shot," a Wichita Falls judge said.

Another Wichita Falls man explained, "That's what we try to teach the kids to do on our soccer team. You center the ball toward another player who hopefully will score the goal."

The New York Times writer, who certainly knows more about soccer than those who didn't grew up in that world, described the winning goal thusly, "He did indeed, with a wonderful, knowing movement as he darted into Argentina's penalty area after Andre' Schurle (also a substitute) made a dynamic burst down the left flank. Gotze's control of Schurrle's pass with his chest and then his sublime volley.....without even a glance to determine the goalkeeper's position....were certainly superior techniques."

So the New York Times described the winning shot as employing "superior techniques."

What did other soccer experts say about the shot heard around the world?

"Goetze's goal 'which came from a good ball across sent in," was how a CBS writer described it.

The CBS scribe went on to say Goetze's goal "frankly seemed no different than any of the other balls sent in the box Sunday."

The CBS description also included the words "Mario Gotze settled a cross and beat Sergio Romero far post."

Another Wichita Falls man who coaches his children in soccer said, "It was an excellent goal. He fooled the goalkeeper who went in the direction he expected Gotze to kick the ball. Gotze fooled him by kicking it in the far end of the net."

The goal came in the 113th minute of the game in which Germany claimed its fourth World Cup championship tying it with Italy for second on the alltime list. Brazil leads everyone with five World Cup championships.

So there seems to be a difference of opinion among soccer afficionados as to how great a shot it was that won the World Cup in 2014. However, to one who never has been immersed in the soccer world, it was an extraordinary athleteic feat pulled off by two teammates in perfect sync. While the attitude of some soccer insiders may appear a little blaise to those who grew up watching athletes snap on chinstraps and wear shoulderpads when they take the field, to the average person Gotze made a great play to put it in American football parlance.

Maybe similar to a Roger Staubach throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass to a closely-covered Drew Perason in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings back in the day.

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