Wed July 9, 2014
Argentina Ditches Dutch On The Way To World Cup Final
Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:46 pm
Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET
Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks to reach the final of the World Cup, where they will play Germany on Sunday.
The two teams were tied 0-0 at the end of extra time.
Goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.
The last time a World Cup semifinal was decided by penalty kicks was 1998 when Netherlands played Brazil. Brazil won that encounter.
The Associated Press reports:
"Lionel Messi had a 20th-minute free kick saved by Jasper Cillessen, and Gonzalo Higuain's shot into the sidenetting in the 75th. For the Dutch, Arjen Robben came closest to scoring in stoppage time but Javier Masherano blocked his effort at the near post."
Earlier, Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong was back from a groin injury, and striker and captain Robin van Persie recovered from a stomach ailment.
Midfielder Enzo Perez replaced injured winger Angel Di Maria in the Argentine lineup. Also back was left back Marcos Rojo, who was suspended for one match.
In the first semifinal, played Tuesday, Germany steamrolled host Brazil 7-1.
The final will be played Sunday in Rio's Estadio Maracana, and as ESPN notes: