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World Cup subs make big impact right to the end

World Cup substitutes make big impact to the end as Goetze comes off Germany bench to win it

Posted on July 13, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on July 13, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — At a World Cup where substitutes have made more impact than ever, it was fitting that Mario Goetze came off the bench to win it, and another replacement supplied the inch-perfect cross.

Goetze’s extra-time goal to beat Argentina and win the cup was the 32nd scored by a substitute in Brazil.

The previous best, 23 at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is not even close.

Coming on in the 88th minute to replace Miroslav Klose, Goetze’s two shots on target matched teammate Toni Kroos who played the full two hours. It was also as many as Argentina managed all night.

Even the cross for Goetze’s beautifully balanced winning strike came from another substitute, Andre Shuerrle.

“I said from the start that 14 players have to be on the alert, that they have to be ready at all time,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

Teams who used their squads well — like the third-place Netherlands and quarterfinalist Belgium — got their rewards with strong finishes and crucial late goals.

Loew had to call on 15 fully alert players on Sunday.

After midfielder Sami Khedira injured his calf in the warm-up, Christoph Kramer had a matter of minutes to prepare himself for a rare start.

Then Shuerrle was called on unexpectedly early when Kramer was unable to continue in the 31st minute with an apparent concussion from a collision with an Argentina defender’s shoulder.

Still, Goetze’s arrival for the 36-year-old Klose was all tactical by Loew after two earlier switches for injury

“With these temperatures, in this climate, you cannot play with the same 11 the entire match,” said the coach, though the 23-degree (73F) temperature at kickoff was one of the cooler tests Germany had in Brazil.

“Tonight you could see at the end that Argentina was getting more and more tired and that we have players like Mueller and Schuerrle, who can make searing runs,” Loew said.

Still, Loew’s use of 18 of his 23-man squad across seven World Cup matches is almost conservative compared to Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands.

Van Gaal ensured he gave playing time to all 23 players by sending on goalkeeper Michael Vorm for the closing minutes of a 3-0 win over Brazil in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

An earlier Dutch goalie replacement entered World Cup lore as a match-winning substitute by stopping goals not scoring them.

Tim Krul played only a couple of minutes of extra-time in a 0-0 quarterfinal draw against Costa Rica but that got him into the penalty shootout, and his two spot-kick saves were decisive.

Van Gaal also had the magic touch in the Round of 16, sending on Klaas Jan Huntelaar for captain robin van Persie when trailing 1-0 late against Mexico. Huntelaar then set up Wesley Sneijder for the equalizer and scored a decisive stoppage-time penalty.

FIFA will now look at changing the rules of football to allow a fourth substitute in extra time.

The new 32-goal record tally from the bench could be under threat in 2018 in Russia.

 FILE - In this Friday, July 27, 2012 file photo, Chairmen of the two chambers of the new FIFA Ethics Committee Michael Garcia, left, from the US and Joachim Eckert, right, from Germany attend a press conference, at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert is unlikely to reach final decisions in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding corruption probe until early next year. The German judge also suggested on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, it was not his job to remove Russia or Qatar as hosts or order a re-vote based on FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia's investigation. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri, File)

Updated on Sept. 22, 2014 at 12:38 p.m.
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