Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Football: Kiwi football fans back Germans

Battling Argentinians outsiders with TAB to win World Cup final after Germany's stunning semifinal victory

The FIFA World Cup trophy
The FIFA World Cup trophy

The Fifa World Cup has finally reached the business end of the tournament, with punters swarming to place their bets on their favourite football team to win.

Yesterday's semifinal match between Argentina and Netherlands reeled in $1.24 million for the TAB - the largest amount Kiwis have bet in the tournament in Brazil to date.

TAB football bookmaker Gary Pearn said people had already started to get excited about Monday's final at 7am, with Germany looking like the clear favourite.

The Germans are at $2.30 to win the World Cup final. Argentina is paying $3.00 and a draw sits at $3.20 after normal time.

"We opened up pretty much straight after [yesterday's] game finished and already you can tell that the weight of the money is going to be very much with the Germans," Mr Pearn said.

"Punters are straight on to Germany, I guess on the back of their very impressive semifinal win [a 7-1 victory], whereas Argentina were pretty sort of bland in comparison - not managing a goal and having to go to penalty shootout, whereas the Germans tore the Brazilians apart," he said.

Mr Pearn could not recall any significant bets on yesterday's match between Netherlands and Argentina and admitted the TAB had "dodged a couple of bullets" thanks to Argentina's win. "Most of the money was on the Netherlands. Right throughout the tournament, the Netherlands have been our worst result."

Argentina fan Juan Tesolin - watching with a large group of fellow countrymen at The Grand bar in central Wellington - saw his team win a tense penalty shootout.

"I haven't been able to stop screaming," he said. "We won, it's incredible."

Mr Tesolin was looking forward to the final and said Germany would provide strong opposition.

"But I think we're going to win this one."

Another happy Argentine fan, Maria La Monica, was also celebrating the win at the bar. "I can't stop laughing. Our goalie - he's a hero right now."

The country would be celebrating his goal-stopping feats, she said.

- NZ Herald

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