2014 FIFA World Cup, 2nd semi-final: Netherlands vs Argentina - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
After a tepid 120 minutes of play, Argentina got the better of the Netherlands in penalty shoot-out. It is their first World Cup final after 1990.
Goalie Sergio Romero returned a hero after saving two penalties, those of Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.
8th kick: Netherlands 2 - 4 Argentina; Maxi Rodriguez won it for Argentina with a powered kick, which drilled through the keeper.
7th kick: Netherlands 2 - 3 Argentina; Dirk Kuyt keeps it alive for Holland.
6th kick: Netherlands 1 - 3 Argentina; Sergio Aguero made it 3-1 for the Argentines.
5th kick: Netherlands 1 - 2 Argentina; Romero did it again, this time to deny Wesley Sneijder.
4th kick: Netherlands 1 - 2 Argentina; Ezequiel Garay scored to maintain the lead.
3rd kick: Netherlands 1 - 1 Argentina; Robben sent Romero wrong way to open the Dutch account.
2nd kick: Netherlands 0 - 1 Argentina; Messi converted from the spot.
1st kick: Netherlands 0 - 0 Argentina; Romero dived to his left to save Ron Vlaar's kick.
Dutch to take first.
Unlike their quarter-finals match, for days ago, this time Van Gaal will not have Tim Krul for the shoot-out as all three substitutes have been consumed. So, somewhat shorter Jasper Cillessen will man the Dutch goal.
ET FULL-TIME: Netherlands 0 - 0 Argentina
ET 120+1' - Argentina survived the last hurray from Holland as Wijnaldum's run was blocked by a defender inside the box.
ET 119' - From the throw-in, Holland created enough pressure to test the Argentine defence.
One Minute ADDED.
ET 118' - Robben was again undone by the brilliance defending from Mascherano. Netherlands, however, won a throw-in inside the Argentina half.
ET 116' - Argentina are enjoying a greater freedom in possession in this dying moments. Rojo got a clumsy challenge.
ET 114' - As lumbering legs trail tired bodies, Argentina thanks to a brilliant run on the right, found another great opportunity. This time, Maxi Rodriguez failed to power through his volley from the Messi cross.
ET 113' - From a Stefan de Vrij long ranger, Argentina got the ball inside their half. Then, Rodrigo Palacio almost scored from a header. But there was force in his header and also in the pass.
ET 112' - Maxi Rodriguez conceded a throw-in to Netherlands in the Dutch half. Kuyt, from the throw-in, got the play in action in the centre.
ET 111' - Argentina won a free-kick inside their own half after Robben pushed a defender to the grown while chasing the ball.
ET 110' - It's still Netherlands with the ball. Then, Stefan de Vrij tried a long ranger, probably wanting to replicate his goal against Spain in their cup opener.
ET 109' - Janmaat got a good defending, thanks to his positioning to cut short a long ball from the Argentinians.
ET 108' - After a couple of minutes, Mascherano got up with a swollen lips. The Barca man will continue.
ET 106' - Mascherano is on the ground after a high challenge from Kuyt caught him on the face.
For the record, Argentina have never conceded in the Extra Time, while Holland never scored in the extended play.
ET HALF-TIME: Netherlands 0 - 0 Argentina
ET 105+1' - Palacio produced a beauty of a cross from the the attacking left third. But Aguero was late by a fraction of second.
ET 105' - From the set-piece, Messi delivered a teasing ball which was cleared away by Cillessen.
ET 104' - Klass-Jan Huntelaar BOOKED and conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area. He tripped Mascherano on the run.
One Minute ADDED.
ET 103' - Kuyt got the ball on the left flank, from there he tried to find Robben inside the Argentine box. But the ball caught Robben on the wrong side.
ET 102' - Dutch players asked a for a foul on Robben inside the Argentine half. But the referee allowed the play to continue. And Messi had a brief essay in the centre with the ball, before losing it from a failed pass.
ET 101' - A good little period for Argentina as Rojo and Aguero combined well to break the Dutch defence. But Dutch soon won the ball back and created their own attack.
ET 100' - Third and final SUB for Argentina: Ezequiel Lavezzi out, Maxi Rodriguez in.
ET 99' - Argentina presented themselves with a great chance to break the dead-lock, but Rojo's attempt from the left failed to hit the target.
ET 98' - From the throw-in, Kuyt won the ball for Dutch and allowed Robben to tried from just outside the D, which was saved by Romero.
ET 97' - Argentina, from the goal-kick, went on to create another move. Won a throw-in instead.
ET 96' - Third and final SUB for Holland: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on for Robin van Persie.
In between, Holland won a throw-in on the right flank but the ball went of play after few passes. Goal-kick to Argentina.
ET 95' - Sergio Aguero, who was checked by a Dutch defender though that the ball was in their favour. But the referee let the game on and Holland pressed through.
ET 94' - Goal-kick for Argentina as Netherland's attack went out of play.
ET 93' - From a Kuyt throw-in, Holland tried to create a move from their half, but a roaming Messi was there to disturb the scheme.
ET 92' - van Persie got himself in an awkward position fighting for a high ball inside the Argentina box, where his dragging right foot almost stamped the head of defender.
ET 91' - Argentina started the proceedings from the centre, but Netherlands won the ball soon.
Netherlands up the ante in the second half, enjoying greater ball possession, but found the target only once, while Argentina continue to find gaps in the Dutch defence, on a couple more instances.
Known for late winners, both the sides are once again are into the dreaded EXTRA TIME.
FULL-TIME: Netherlands 0 - 0 Argentina
90+2' - Then, Netherlands created another couple of chances, each from either flanks before Janmaat was caught off-side.
90+1' - From the corner kick taken by Sneijder, Romero punched the ball to safety.
90' - Mascherano's brilliance certainly save the day for Argentina as he followed Robben from outside the Box until he cleared the ball for a corner.
Three Minutes ADDED.
89' - Demichelis again involved. This time, he strode high before releasing the ball.
88' - Demichelis won the ball from a Dutch creative move. However, from the following play Argentina conceded a throw-in inside the defending third.
87' - From the goal-kick, Messi found himself vying for the ball against three defenders inside the Dutch box. Good defending from the Europeans save the moment.
86' - Mighty attempt from Martin Demichelis as his sliding tackle almost caught Robben flailing. Free kick to Dutch. From the set-piece, Argentina won a goal-kick.
85' - And five minutes to play, yet no breakthrough. On the half way, Netherlands won a free-kick.
84' - Argentina won a free-kick in their own half as veteran Kuyt committed a foul.
83' - Messi, after braving a push from behind, relaid the ball for Rojo, who took an attempt on the goal. No trouble for Cillessen under the Dutch bar though.
82' - With less than ten minutes into the regulation time whistle, Robben got a sight on the goal. But Romero was there, unchallenged.
81' - Double SUB for Argentina: Rodrigo Palacio on for Enzo Perez, Gonzalo Higuain made way for Sergio Aguero.
80' - Marcos Rojo arrived in time to clear a dangerous looking ball for a throw-in to Holland.
79' - After a brief Holland possession, Argentina gained the ball and are milking it.
77' - Wesley Sneijder tried a long ranger from the set-piece, which as usual, failed to hit the target.
75' - Daley Blind won a free-kick inside the Argentine half as he was fouled by Pablo Zabaleta.
74' - Looked like a goal for Argentina. But Higuain's sliding attempt could only find the side netting of Dutch goal. Great release from Demichelis.
73' - From a quick inter-play, Robben produced a deft touch then lofted one inside the Argentina box where van Persie tried a gorgeous cycle-kick. He was in the off-side position though.
72' - Awful attempt by Messi. His famed left-foot was nowhere it's usual self as the free-kick from an acute angle curled extra yards and sailed over the target.
71' - Marcos Rojo get himself inside the attacking third providing an extra man in the attack. Good pressing from the South Americans, won a free-kick as Rojo was fouled.
70' - From Robben's throw, after a few more rolling about, Argentina won the ball back.
69' - Netherlands, then, launched their own attack involving swift footed Robben on the left flank. After few pressing, they won a throw-in.
67' - Holland found themselves swarmed by Argentina players inside their defensive half. However, Mascherano's final pass let down Argentina.
66' - Sneijder and newly arrived Clasie have combined well to trouble the Argentine defence for some time. Then, a loose pass allowed the South Americans to wrest back the initiative.
63' - From the restart, Netherlands with van Persie and Kuyt connecting well, tried to create an attacking option. But relentless pressure from Argentina meant the ball rolling backwards.
61' - Holland SUB: Jordy Clasie replaces Nigel De Jong.
In between, Biglia is on the ground as medics attend to his woes.
60' - From a Dutch move, Sergio Romero got to handle the ball. He sent the ball above for his midfielders.
Then, Daryl Janmaat ran into Lucas Biglia in his follow through inside the Argentina half. Free-kick to Argentina.
59' - At the hour mark, Dutch won the ball back and are trying to create an attack from their own half.
58' - From the following play, Mascherano released Lavezzi inside the Dutch box. But his cross was not good enough for his team-mate to find a header.
57' - Ezequiel Garay released a long ball for Gonzalo Higuain, but an alert defender won the ball then it went out of play. Throw-in for Argentina.
56' - Vlaar then involved himself in a Dutch attack, which went out of play. Goal-kick for Argentina.
55' - Aston Villa centre-half, Ron Vlaar once again cut short a Messi run. Great sliding tackle just in front of the Dutch D.
54' - Robben, who has been rather quite today, found a good chance to dissect the Argentine defence. But he was marked and closed.
53' - Wijnaldum's bid to find his skipper failed. Good creative from the Dutch players.
52' - However, from the play, Argentina got the ball back and released Messi. But good defending from the Dutch to cut short the Messi run.
51' - Kuyt earned a throw-in on the left flank.
50' - Messi caught off-side.
49' - From the set-piece, Sneijder tried to curl one from some 28 metres. But the attempt was always climbing for the moon.
48' - From the Daryl Janmaat throw-in, Netherlands enjoyed some possession then Robben luckily earned a free-kick as his duel with Demichelis resulted in referee's intervention.
47' - Mascherano won a little tussle with Robben inside the Argentina half, from where Garay kicked the ball outside. Throw-in for Holland.
46' - Holland, from the re-start, gained some ground but Stefan de Vrij almost got himself booked after he shoulder push Enzo Perez on the right flank.
During the break, Holland made one change. Daryl Janmaat on for Bruno Martins Indi, who was booked in the first half.
In the first-half's play, Argentina did exceptionally well to marked all of Dutch frontman, especially van Persie.
Besides better man-marking, the South Americans enjoyed greater possession and have three attempts with one hitting the target as against Holland's one attempt, which failed to hit the target.
HALF-TIME: Netherlands 0 - 0 Argentina
45+1' - Experienced pair of Demichelis and Mascherano combined the create an opening inside the Dutch half. Messi, from the release, tried a long ball for Rojo. But, nothing happened from the pass.
45' - From the free-kick, Messi did test the Dutch goalie but it was an harmless effort from some distance.
Two Minutes ADDED.
44' - But a good interception by Messi meant Argentina breaking away. Bruno Martins Indi BOOKED for a late challenge on Messi. Will miss the final if Holland get through.
43' - With minutes remaining in the half-time break, Netherlands increase the tempo -- switching flanks.
42' - Netherlands got back-to-back free-kicks but failed to create any tangible move from them.
41' - Messi almost got himself booked for a late challenge on Kuyt.
40' - From an Argentina throw-in, the South Americans created a move inside the Dutch half after few passing around.
39' - Lucas Biglia involved himself in a period of creative excellence as Argentina continue to test the Dutch defence.
38' - Dirk Kuyt got the ball cleared away from an inside cut run by Messi.
37' - Portugal born Bruno Martins Indi got a call from the referee as he blocked Lionel Messi, on the run. Free-kick to Argentina.
On the other half, Sneijder sought medical attention.
36' - From the following play, Garay got another chance for Argentina without creating much trouble to the defenders.
35' - Mascherano, playing in a different role from that of Barcelona, is dictating terms. From one of his move, Lavezzi found Dutch defenders split for a good ball. However, finishing was bad.
34' - van Persie got a tussle won against two Argentine defenders inside the attacking half, but his final touch was far from perfect. Goal-kick to Argentina.
33' - Lionel Messi caught off-side from an enterprising Argentina move.
32' - Argentina survived some anxious moments as Netherlands continue to probe their defense after the corner. Luckily, Ron Vlaar was caught off side from the following attack.
31' - Corner for Holland as Robben cut through the Argentina box, which got deflected from a defender.
30' - A little quite period as Netherlands control the ball in the centre and look to create a move.
28' - Mascherano, after some worrying minutes, got himself available for the rest of the play.
27' - Trouble for Argentina as Javier Mascherano got medical attention after colliding head-on with Georginio Wijnaldum on the half-line.
24' - RVP caught offside as the Man Utd front-man tried to outpace man-marking Ezequiel Garay inside the Argentina half.
23' - Ezequiel Garay got a mighty attempt to head the dipping delivery from the Lavezzi corner. His header met the ball but Ron Vlaar checked in time.
22' - Then Argentina defended well to cut short a Dutch attack. From the play, Lavezzi broke through the Dutch defenders and created a good chance for themselves. Another corner.
21' - Netherlands quickly won a throw-in to stem the Argentina flow. Then, rolled the ball all along the ground.
20' - Argentina won another corner. Lavezzi's delivery from the flag post found van Persie, who headed away.
19' - From the short corner by Messi, Argentina got a good enough chance to trouble to Dutch defensive line. But Messi's cross from the replay found Cillessen collecting the ball rather easily.
18' - Argentina won the ball back and launch a swift attack from the right. Won a corner.
17' - After few exchanges on the right flank, Holland won a throw-in.
16' - Nigel de Jong won the ball back for Holland in the centre, then released Sneijder with a through pass. But the ball was little too fast. Goal-kick to Argentina.
15' - Messi, briefly playing wide, tried to take on two defenders but good sense prevailed as he rolled back the ball towards his defenders.
14' - Lionel Messi found the target, through the wall...but Cillessen kept his ground to collect the ball.
13' - Ron Vlaar conceded a free-kick in a spot of bother as he tripped Enzo Perez from behind. Messi is on...
12' - From the re-start, Sneijder tried along-ranger but it went off the target.
11' - Netherlands won a throw-in inside the Argentina half.
10' - Lavezzi tried a looping cross inside the Dutch box from the set-piece, but van Persie climbed high to clear the ball to safety.
9 - Stefan de Vrij conceded a free-kick.
8' - Argentina got their own possession after a prolonged Dutch dwelling inside their half. And Messi, in the centre of the midfield, tried to create an opening, but sadly for the South Americans, nothing haappened.
7' - Netherlands continue to press hard inside the Argetina half. van Persie is in the centre of everything as of now.
6' - Arjen Robben caught off-side as Holland impressed upon their opponents.
5' - Brave defending by Zabaleta, as Netherlands thanks to a brilliant Sneijder solo run arrived inside the Argetina box. But the Man City defender got the better.
4' - Zabaleta found Higuain on their attacking third on the left after a little period of possession. But nothing worthwhile came off the attack.
3' - Advantage for Holland as Messi seemed to trip a player in the Holland D. Earlier, Mascherano started what could have been the first attack of the match from the Argentina half.
2' - Ezequiel Lavezzi won the ball from the Dutch play, but he was soon robbed off.
1' - Early pressure from Argentina as Holland continue to keep possession in their half.
A minute's silence for Alfredo Di Stefano.
After the national anthems, both the captains have met the officials and the kick-off follows in a while. Both the teams are in their traditional attires, Argentina in blue and white while Holland in the famous oranje.
The surprise package in Argetina's line-up is Enzo Perez. It was a popular believe that Sergio Aguero will come in place of injured Angel di Maria, but Sabella opted for the Benfica player, probably because he can track-back.
For the Dutch, RVP has made himself available after fighting upset stomach.
And conducting the match will be Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey. Known as one of the no non-sense referees, he was more famously snubbed by the Dutch skipper RVP as an unknown sometime back.
Here are the team-sheets:
Netherlands XI: 1 - Jasper Cillessen, 3 - Stefan de Vrij, 2 - Ron Vlaar, 4 - Bruno Martins Indi, 15 - Dirk Kuyt, 6 - Nigel de Jong, 10 - Wesley Sneijder, 20 - Georginio Wijnaldum, 5 - Daley Blind, 11 - Arjen Robben, 9 - Robin van Persie
SUBS: 22 - Michel Vorm, 7 - Daryl Janmaat, 8 - Jonathan de Guzman, 12 - Paul Verhaegh, 13 - Joel Veltman, 14 - Terence Kongolo, 16 - Jordy Clasie, 17 - Jeremain Lens, 19 - Klass-Jan Huntelaar, 21 - Memphis Depay, 23 - Tim Krul
Argentina XI: 1 - Sergio Romero, 4 - Pablo Zabaleta, 15 - Martin Demichelis, 2 - Ezequiel Garay, 16 - Marcos Rojo, 6 - Lucas Biglia, 14 - Javier Mascherano, 22 - Ezequiel Lavezzi, 10 - Lionel Messi (c), 8 - Enzo Perez, 9 - Gonzalo Higuain
SUBS: 12 - Agustin Orion, 3 - Hugo Campagnaro, 5 - Fernando Gago, 11 - Maxi Rodriguez, 13 - Augusto Fernandez, 17 - Federico Fernandez, 18 - Rodrigo Palacio, 19 - Ricardo Alvarez, 20 - Sergio Aguero, 23 - Jose Maria Basanta, 21 - Mariano Andujar.
After the massacre of Brazilian hope yesterday by a ruthless German outfit, the focus will now be at a new set of players in Sao Paulo. If the Brazil-German was decided by efficient team-work, or the lack of it, the second semi-final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be decided by individual brilliance. The line-up from either side carries such names as Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, etc. And they are all known match-winners.
Besides the presence of gifted players, both the teams have so far relied on team-work – like any other team in the competition – in their previous outings. The Netherlands, a pre-tournament favourite, have consolidated that status with a 5-1 thrashing of defending champions Spain. Under an impressive Louis van Gaal, they have also survived some testing times. Glimpses of both brilliance and lacklustre can be seen in their five matches so far.
Likewise, Argentina too have endured bad outings against opponents of lesser quality. In fact, Alejandro Sabella`s outfit is yet to show it`s form in the tournament. Their biggest test was against the Belgians in the quarter-finals, where they just about managed to beat the talented Red Devils. However, the presence of Lionel Messi – arguably the best player in the world, in their ranks give the two-time World Cup winners an edge.
For the all important semi-final clash, Holland have got no major injury scare except an upset stomach for their skipper Robin van Persie. Argentina, on the contrary, will be without their star winger Angel di Maria, who suffered a thigh strain during their quarter-final match. The Real Madrid player has played a pivotal role in Argentina`s campaign so far with his incisive runs and supplies, which provided Messi a breathing space in the attacking third. In his absence, Sergio Aguero, in all probability, will start after recuperating from an injury.
Head-to-head, the Netherlands have a slight edge winning two of the four encounters in the World Cup. Argentina have defeated Holland in the 1978 final to lift their maiden World Cup title, and it`s their only win against Holland in eight meetings overall.
A win for Holland will mean back-to-back final appearance for Oranje after their final defeat in South Africa. For Argentina, they are playing in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.
Welcome to the live coverage of second semi-final between the Netherlands and Argentina being played at Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.