FINAL SCORE: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0* (Argentina Win 4-2 on Penalties)
Argentina will play Germany in the World Cup final in the Maracana on July 13. It was a complete snoozefest that went all the way to penalty kicks. The villains for Netherlands were Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder who both missed their kicks. Maxi Rodriguez scored the winning penalty kick for Argentina. So it will be a repeat of the 1990 World Cup final on Sunday, but Germany has got to feel pretty confident going into it. On top of the poor game, Argentina also had to play 120 minutes, two hours of hard running in the rain. The final will be interesting.
Here’s how it went down in Sao Paulo:
A Messi Free Kick Was the Best Chance Early in the Game
A free kick was well struck my Messi, beating the wall but Cillessen got behind it really well. The Dutch goalie made it look easy.
Mascherano & Georginio Had a Nasty Clash of Heads on 26 Minutes
The normally rock hard Javier Mascherano went down hard after jumping with Georginio for a header on the half way line. The Barcelona player, appeared to walk away from the collision but then he collapsed. He has been allowed to play on.
The Argentine coach, Alejandro Sabella, looked extremely worried when he saw the collision.
Martins Indi Got the First Yellow Card
Just before half time, Martins Indi was the first yellow card of the semifinal. It wasn’t for the above foul on Messi, it was for another one two minutes later. He’s lucky not to have had two yellow cards.
My abiding memory of Bruno Martins Indi in this WC is of Australia’s Matthew Leckie running him ragged. Amazed he’s even in the #ned squad
— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) July 9, 2014
At half time, Martins Indi was taken off by Louis van Gaal in favor of Daryl Janmaat.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 9, 2014
Garay Made a Bizarre Clearance
After 47 minutes, under no pressure, Ezequiel Garay hit the ball out for a throw-in. The reason for that was one of his cleats had come off. Weirdly, it’s not the worst thing to happen to Garay in this game:
Janmat Put Heavy Challenge in on Biglia
Holland’s Daryl Janmaat’s first real contribution was to put a heavy, painful, looking challenge in on Argentina’s Lucas Biglia. It looked as though the Argentina midfielder would have to go off but he’s soldiering on. Once again, Argentina coach Sabella didn’t like it.
Higuain Thought He Gave Argentina the Lead After 74 Minutes
Gonzalo Higuain slid on to Enzo Perez’s right-wing cross in the box, he tapped the ball wide and into the side netting. The offside flag was up. ESPN announcer Ian Darke announced it as a goal, it was not a goal. On replay, it looked as though Higuain was onside, bad call from the referee’s assistant.
Arjen Robben Nearly Won it at the Death
After a patented Robben dribble into the box (the first one he managed in the game) on 90 minutes, a fantastic saving tackle from the concussed Javier Mascherano saved Argentina.
The Sloppiness Continued Into Extra Time
Arjen Robben had the best chance of extra time with a 25 yard left footed drive from the right wing after 97 minutes. Other than that, and the above bit of skill from Robben, it’s been all the same.
In Extra Time, a Collision Was the Main Talking Point
And Here Are the Penalties:
Ron Vlaar missed the first penalty of the shootout, which was a shame considering what a good game he had for the Dutch.
Lionel Messi scored to give Argentina the lead.
Robben got the Dutch on the board to make it 1-1.
Garay scored a lovely penalty, right down the middle, making it 1-2.
Unbelievably, the reliable Wesley Sneijder missed leaving the score at 1-2.
Sergio Aguero put Argentina 3-1 ahead.
Kuyt kept Netherlands alive, making it 2-3.
It all came down to the veteran Maxi Rodriguez who drove home the winning penalty to send Argentina into the World Cup final.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina take on Arjen Robben’s Netherlands in the second World Cup semifinal. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The winner will meet Germany in the World Cup final in the Maracana on July 13. If Holland gets the victory, then for the World Cup final will be contested by two European teams for the third time running.
Keep it here with Heavy for all of the best updates, goal videos, gifs and live odds.
Here’s the teams:
The game today will be officiated by Turkish ref, Cuneyt Cakir.
These two countries have plenty of history in the World Cup finals, the 1978 Junta-inspired Argentina victory against the Dutch, and the revenge mission in France ’98 when Holland’s Dennis Bergkamp produced a moment of sheer genius to win the game for the Oranje.