Argentina into World Cup finals on penalties

Argentina into World Cup finals on penalties

WORLD CUP:Argentina's Pablo Zabaleta is challenged by Robin van Persie of the Netherlands (R) during extra time in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 9. Photo: Reuters/Francois Xavier

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties to reach the World Cup final after a dire two hours of defense-dominated football failed to provide a semi-final goal for the first time in the tournament’s history on Wednesday.

Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved Ron Vlaar’s first penalty then made a superb diving save to deny Wesley Sneijder, allowing Maxi Rodriguez to crash home the decisive kick as his side converted all four of their penalties.

The game was a forgettable one as the Dutch struggled to build any meaningful attacks and completed 90 minutes without a shot on target as Arjen Robben’s last-minute effort was brilliantly blocked by Javier Mascherano.

Argentina were not much more adventurous and had only a handful of half-chances to their name as, in total contrast to Tuesday’s match when Germany waltzed through a wide open Brazil to win 7-1, both defenses were absolutely on top.

In Sunday’s final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro Argentina will play Germany in a repeat of the 1986 and 1990 finals – the first time the same two teams will have faced each other three times in the decider.

The Netherlands will play Brazil in the third-place playoff in Brasilia on Saturday.

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ken Ferris)

Latest Stories

in National

Fed official still looking at 2015 rate hike


A voting member of the Federal Reserve's policy committee says he believes the economy is on a satisfactory track and an increase in interest rates is likely to be appropriate in either October or December.

in Sports

NFL: Week 5 can’t miss games


Here's five games you'll want to watch in Week 5 of the NFL season.

in Sports

Shaq releases children’s book, wants to be known as ‘Dr. of Fun’


NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal visits the New York Public Library to discuss his first children’s book “Little Shaq.”

in Entertainment

‘Ant-Man’ sequel and three more Marvel movies are coming


The superhero universe will add three more as of yet unnamed movies by 2020.

in Entertainment

Carlton says there won’t be a ‘Fresh Prince’ reboot


Alfonso Ribeiro is adamant there will never be a TV reboot of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," because no one can take the place of their "cornerstone" James Avery.