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Aubree Reichel | The Journal Gazette
Fans celebrate Germany’s World Cup victory on Sunday at the Fort Wayne Sport Club.

Sport Club rich in German spirit

World Cup final keeps fans on edge

Everyone is German when they walk into the Fort Wayne Sport Club, according to Oliver Reelsen.

With that logic, about 120 Germans surrounded five TVs in the Sport Club’s clubhouse supporting die Mannschaft in its record eighth World Cup final.

There were many close calls throughout the match, including an Argentine goal called back because Gonzalo Higuan was offside and a German header from Benedikt Hoewedes’ hitting the post.

Each time, groans and almost-cheers filled the room and the tension continued to escalate as time and chances went by.

Fans had to wait 113 minutes (eight minutes into the second period of extra time) for Germany to score.

The scoring play started with Philipp Lahm, went through 10 players over eight passes and finished with substitute Mario Goetze who was waiting at the edge of the six-yard box to put it past Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

For Sport Club president Dan Kruse, the turnout and result mean more to him than his own German heritage.

“It’s a great win for the club,” he said. “With the German heritage here, we follow the games all year long.”

Reelsen, a native of Hamburg and the club’s youth vice president, was thrilled at the result.

“2014,” he said, “I need a new jersey. One with four stars.”

It seemed that everyone knew it would be a close match since it took penalties for Argentina to make the finals.

“I was nervous because Argentina shut down the Netherlands,” Reelsen said, “and (the Dutch) play similar to Germany.”

This year’s World Cup at Sport Club attracted fans for every Germany or U.S. game as a place to watch the games.

For Kruse, the clubhouse has always been a second home.