Argentina v Netherlands, 09 July 2014

Score0-0 :: penalties 4-2 to Argentina
Referee Cüneyt Çakır
CompetitionFIFA World Cup Semi-final
VenueArena Corinthians
Attendance63,267
Argentina won 4-2 on penalties. After extra time. Kick-off 5.00pm local (9.00pm BST). A repeat of the 1978 World Cup Final left each team just a game away from facing Germany in the 2014 version. Their win on home soil in Buenos Aires 36 years ago remained as Argentina's only win in eight attempts against the Netherlands but this meeting in Sao Paulo came on a significant day. Not only was it Independence Day in Argentina but it was also the day of the funeral of one of the country's greatest footballing sons - Alfredo Di Stefano. Having started the tournament with the astonishing 5-1 demolition of reigning champions Spain, the Dutch had reached their third semi-final in the last four World Cup finals. While the previous day’s semi-final between Brazil and Germany was settled in the first half-hour, a quiet start and overcast, dull weather gave early indication that this game would go the distance. As Argentina dictated the pace, the Dutch struggled to get into any rhythm. The previously impressive Van Persie and Robben were largely notable by their absence. A Lionel Messi free-kick that was comfortably held by Jasper Cillessen was the only meaningful attempt of a hugely disappointing first-half. With a place in the World Cup Final at stake, both teams’ cautious approach continued after the interval with rain falling more heavily also hindering any release of the tension. The trickle of goalmouth action virtually dried up as, to the neutral observer, the game descended into a genuine contender for the worst of the tournament. Extra-time was almost avoided only for Javier Mascerano to deny Arjen Robben with a vital last ditch challenge in the final minute of normal time. The first ninety minutes produced only two shots on target. Argentina keeper Sergio Romero made his first save in the 99th minute as the fear of making a mistake continued to dominate. Argentina sub Rodrigo Palacio had a great chance in the second-half of extra-time only to head weakly at the Dutch keeper before fellow sub Maxi Rodriguez failed to extend Cillessen when well placed. The first-ever goalless World Cup semi-final was duly decided by a penalty shoot-out. With the South Americans converting four out of four, two saves from Romero took Argentina through to their first World Cup Final since 1990 when they lost to West Germany. More significantly, they had reached Brazil's World Cup Final.

0 (4)  Argentina

Manager: Alejandro Sabella

0 (2)  Netherlands

Manager: Louis Van Gaal

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero
Defender Ezequiel Garay
Defender Marcos Rojo
Defender Pablo Zabaleta
Midfielder Lucas Biglia
Midfielder Javier Mascherano
Midfielder Enzo Perez
Midfielder/Forward Lionel Messi (captain)
Forward Gonzalo Higuain

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen
Defender Stefan De Vrij
Defender Ron Vlaar
Defender/Midfielder Daley Blind
Defender/Midfielder Bruno Martins Indi
Midfielder Nigel De Jong
Midfielder Arjen Robben
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder
Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum
Midfielder/Forward Dirk Kuyt
Forward Robin Van Persie (captain)

Substitutions:

Rodrigo Palacio for Enzo Perez 81
Sergio Agüero for Gonzalo Higuain 82
Maxi Rodriguez for Ezequiel Lavezzi 100

Substitutions:

Daryl Janmaat for Bruno Martins Indi 46
Jordy Clasie for Nigel De Jong 62
Klaas Jan Huntelaar for Robin Van Persie 96

Cards:

Martin Demichelis 49 Y

Cards:

Bruno Martins Indi 45 Y
Klaas Jan Huntelaar 105 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Mariano Andujar
Goalkeeper Agustin Orion
Defender Jose Basanta
Midfielder Ricardo Alvarez
Midfielder Augusto Fernández
Midfielder Fernando Gago
Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez
Forward Sergio Agüero
Forward Hugo Campagnaro
Forward Rodrigo Palacio

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Tim Krul
Goalkeeper Michel Vorm
Defender Daryl Janmaat
Defender Terence Kongolo
Defender Joël Veltman
Defender Paul Verhaegh
Midfielder Jordy Clasie
Midfielder Jonathan De Guzman
Midfielder Memphis Depay
Forward Jeremain Lens

Comments:

Penalty shoot-out details (Argentina went second) 1 - Lionel Messi [scored] 2 - Ezequiel Garay [scored] 3 - Sergio Aguero [scored] 4 - Maxi Rodriguez [scored]

Comments:

Penalty shoot-out details (Netherlands went first) 1 - Ron Vlaar [saved] 2 - Arjen Robben [scored] 3 - Wesley Sneijder [saved] 4 - Dirk Kuyt [scored]