"Khedira was named in Low's original starting 11, which was unchanged from the 7-1 semifinal win over Brazil, only for the German Football Association (DFB) to confirm the change moments before the teams came out of the tunnel at the Maracana. "
Rio de Janeiro, July 14 - Three-time world champions Germany, who humiliated hosts Brazil 1-7 in the semifinals, were deadlocked 0-0 with two-time winners Argentina at halftime of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final here Sunday.

Germany's best chance came in the last seconds of the first half as defender Benedikt Howedes' powerful header from a corner hit the post, reports Xinhua.

The best chance for Argentina came in the 23rd minute when German midfielder Toni Kroos made an incredibly poor header backwards, intended for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The back pass went straight to forward Gonzalo Higuain, who had acres of space but pulled his shot wide.

Seven minutes later, Higuain thought he had scored but his goal was adjudged offside.

Argentina midfielder Angel di Maria failed to return to the starting lineup. The Real Madrid midfielder sustained a thigh injury in Argentina's quarterfinal win over Belgium and missed the semifinal against the Netherlands.

There had been talk that Di Maria, who scored the late winner in the round-of-16 victory against Switzerland, may be risked for the final by coach Alejandro Sabella, but Sabella finally decided to keep faith in the team that saw off the Oranje with Enzo Perez keeping his place.

Mysteriously, Germany midfielder Sami Khedira pulled out of the final shortly before kick-off due to a calf injury, with Christoph Kramer taking his place in the starting lineup.

The loss of Khedira was a huge blow to coach Joachim Low given the Real Madrid player's impressive display in the semifinal win.

Khedira was named in Low's original starting 11, which was unchanged from the 7-1 semifinal win over Brazil, only for the German Football Association (DFB) to confirm the change moments before the teams came out of the tunnel at the Maracana.

Though, there was a cruel twist of fate for Kramer, who made his first competitive start for the Germans. The 23-year-old had to leave the pitch before in the 31st minute after sustaining a head injury.


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