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Oranjes beaten on penalties

Germany
10.07.2014
By our dpa-correspondent    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Argentina beat Dutch on penalties, meet Germany in World Cup final
Monaco reserve keeper Sergio Romero saved twice as Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties on Wednesday to set up a third World Cup final against Germany.
GALLERY
Sao Paulo (dpa) - Romero parried the first spot kick from Ron Vlaar and then from Wesley Sneijder as well to see the Albiceleste through after 120 minutes of negative semi-final football from both sides had ended 0-0.
Supporters of the Dutch national soccer team watch the penalty shoot-out of the FIFA World Cup 2014 semi final match between The Netherlands and Argentina played in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on a square next to the Amsterdam ArenaA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 09 July 2014.


Lionel Messi, Ezquiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez converted Argentina"s spot kicks while Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt were on target for the Dutch.

It was the first World Cup semi-final ever to end 0-0 after 120 minutes, and the Dutch failed to score in 240 minutes overall as they had required penalties to beat Costa Rica in the quarter-finals.

The scrappy match without a single serious scoring chance was far from worthy of a World Cup semi, and Argentina will need a massive effort if they want to lift the trophy a third time after 1978 and 1986.

Germany hammered hosts Brazil 7-1 in the first semi-final on Tuesday and must be rated big favourites for Sunday"s decider at the Maracana.
Goalkeeper Sergio Romero of Argentina saves the penalty of Dutch Wesley Sneijder (L).

It will be a record third World Cup final between the two, with Argentina winning the title 3-2 in 1986 and the Germans 1-0 four years later. Germany also eliminated Argentina in the quarter-finals of the last two World Cups.

Argentina are in the final a fifth time overall thanks to Romero, whose first coach in Europe was Van Gaal, at AZ Alkmaar.

"I thanked Louis who helped me when I arrived in Holland. I am very grateful," said Romero.

Van Gaal, who had famously fielded reserve keeper Tim Krul for the penalties quarter-final win over Costa Rica, finally ran out of luck.

"It (winning a shoot-out) should give you confidence. But this about converting the first. I asked two players to take the first before I came to Vlaar. He was the best player on the field but it is not easy to convert a penalty at a supreme moment," Van Gaal said.

"We didn"t create many chances which says something about Argentina," he said. "(But) we played a fantastic tournament. No one expected us in the knock-out rounds."

Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella said: "I am very pleased. This was a very hard and even match. The team is extraordinary."

Van Gaal opted for caution again with a 5-3-2 formation, with Nigel de Jong back from a groin injury to shadow Messi, and Robin van Persie was fit to play from a stomach bug.

Sabella fielded Enzo Perez as expected for the injured Angel di Maria and welcomed defender Marcos Rojo back from suspension.

The game started far from the pace and flair as the first semi-final, with the Dutch enjoying large spells of possession while Argentina captain Javier Mascherano was visibly dissatisfied with his team-mates.
Head coach Louis van Gaal (R) of the Netherlands seen next to fourth official Jonas Eriksson of Sweden.

The Dutch got a first small chance in the 13th when Snijder shot wide left, and a minute later Messi aimed a free-kick from a central position right into the arms of Jasper Cillessen after Vlaar had brought down Perez.

Garay headed high off a corner kick before Argentina had a massive scare when Mascherano hurt his head in an aerial duel with Georginio Wijnaldum. The Barcelona player sunk onto the ground visibly dizzy but could eventually play on.

With Messi contained by De Jong and Vlaar, and Van Persie and Robben also hardly getting the ball, the tactical midfield battle trickled on until half-time with Argentina looking a little more determined.

Janmaat came on for injured Bruno Martins Indi after the break, and went to the right with striker-turned-full-back Dirk Kuyt moving to the left.

That changed nothing as Argentina let the Dutch do the work without giving them the slightest opening for their fast forwards, while Sneijder sent a free-kick high and wide.

De Jong"s term ended in the 62nd minute when he went off for Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie, the only outfield player Van Gaal had not used from his squad until then.

But no side seemed willing to take any risks, and when another free-kick from Sneijder went miles wide the jeers of the 63,267 grew louder.
Dutch and Argentinian soccer supporters.

Manchester City"s Sergio Aguero returned from injury in the 82nd for Higuain, and Sabella also replaced Perez with Rodrigo Palacio.

Rojo tried his luck from long range in what was only the second shot on target of the entire night.

Robben almost stole a last-gasp winner after a through ball, but Mascherano managed to block the shot with a full-stretch lunge as the game went into extra time.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who grabbed the injury-time 2-1 winner against Mexico in the last 16, came on in the 96th for Van Persie, meaning that Van Gaal could not bring in Krul for another shoot-out.

Palacio then had two late chances before the dull game was decided by penalties.

 

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