World Cup 2014 TV schedule: Argentina vs. Germany July 13
After 63 games in a month's time, the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes down to this final match Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.
Perhaps it was meant to come down to these two teams: The best offense versus the best defense.
Forget (for a moment) how they got here - at least German striker and new all-time World Cup scoring leader Miroslav Klose is thinking that way after the Germans' 7-1 trouncing of host Brazil last Tuesday.
"We enjoyed the game against Brazil, but we ticked it off after 24 hours," Klose told reporters. "In the next game, we have to again play to the best of our abilities. It feels really awful to lose a final, so it's our time to win this one."
Klose now has 16 career World Cup goals, one more than former Brazilian star Ronaldo. He was referring to Germany's loss to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup final. Germany, which has won three World Cup titles overall, has scored 17 goals in this year's tournament.
Argentina has played well defensively during this World Cup, only allowing three goals over a six-game unbeaten stretch. They held the Netherlands scoreless over 120 minutes last Wednesday, winning on penalty kicks.
Despite a mini-scoring drought for star Argentine striker Lionel Messi the past three games, the South Americans are comfortable and confident.
"Germany were always the favorites, along with Brazil, to win the World Cup," Argentina forward Sergio Aguero said on Thursday. "They continue to be so now. We need to play our own game and it suits us that all the pressure is on them."
Argentina also hopes that injured forward Angel Di Maria can return to the field Sunday.
Germany and Argentina have met 20 times in international competition, with Argentina winning nine times, the Germans six, and five draws. In those 20 matches, each team has scored 28 goals.
The 2014 World Cup final will be a repeat of back-to-back World Cup finals in 1986 and 1990. The Argentines beat West Germany, 3-2, 28 years ago in Mexico City. Then, one year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, West Germany returned the favor, besting Argentina, 1-0, in Rome.
The last time these two soccer-mad nations met in the World Cup, Germany blanked Argentina, 4-0, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
As for a preview of things to come, we leave you with a thought from Germany's Thomas Mueller, who's looking forward to a close match.
"I don't know what kind of a game it will be (on Sunday), but I don't expect it to be 5-0 at half-time," said Mueller, who leads the German side with five goals in the 2014 World Cup.
You can watch Argentina and Germany play Sunday on ABC and Univision, with live streaming at ESPN.com, Univision.com, and both broadcasters' mobile apps.