Argentina Defeats Netherlands in Semi Final of World Cup 2014

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Argentina defeat Netherland in semi final of World Cup 2014

Argentina's penalty shootout win in Sao Paulo after 120 minutes of a 0-0 stalemate ended the Netherlands' World Cup dream for another four years. Louis van Gaal was unable to make another goalkeeping switch as he had done in the previous round and following misses from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

Now that the line-up for the Final has been decided, Germany-Argentina meet again after 24 years,on Sunday at the Maracana.

Nigel de Jong made a miraculous recovery from injury to start the match only eight days after being told he wouldn't play for a month, but Angel di Maria failed to do the same for Argentina, who brought in Enzo Perez as a replacement with Marcos Rojo also coming back from suspension

The first half was a tense, chance-shy affair. Lionel Messi had Argentina’s best opportunity, with a centrally-positioned free-kick from the edge of the box, but he curled it straight into the arms of Jasper Cillessen

After the contest crawled into added time, the Netherlands conjured up what was its best chance. Sneijder’s crafty flick sent Robben racing into the Argentinian area. The 30-year-old nevertheless took too many touches, which enabled Javier Mascherano to make a superb sliding block from his strike from point-blank range.

Messi celebrate with teammates

After an attritional 120 minutes, it was Sergio Romero who became the hero of today. He saved from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder and was elected Budweiser MAN OF THE MATCH, with Rodriguez scoring the crucial spot kick. Argentina are into the Final !!!

"Penalties are all about luck, that is the reality. I had confidence and thanks to God it turned out well," he said after the 4-2 penalty shoot-out triumph over the Netherlands that decided the semi-final,which also made him  the third Argentina goalkeeper to saves 2 penalties in a penalty shootout after Goycochea (2 in 1990 vs YUG and ITA) and Roa (in 1998 v ENG). Romero's place in the team was the subject of debate going into the tournament after he spent almost all of the last season on the substitutes' bench at French Ligue 1 club Monaco.However, he has proved his critics wrong throughout the tournament.


Video : Argentina vs Netherlands Semi Finals of World Cup 2014 Full Penalty Shoot out

It was Louis van Gaal’s third substitution that he chose Klaas-Jan Huntelaaar to replace Van Persie, eliminating the possibility of quarter-final saviour Tim Krul coming on should the game go to penalties and signalling the Oranje coach’s desire to go for it.  There was to be no case of history repeating itself here, with all three subs already used.  Like the Oranje’s fans said, “NO KRUL,NO PARTY.

Thing they may not know is,van Gaal was the man who taught Romero how to stop penalties while them working together at AZ Alkmaar.

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