News

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)

Recent Headlines

in National

Making headlines this week

AP333203377986

A look back at the biggest newsmakers this week and the headline you may have missed.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Kids react to a realistic Barbie doll

19-overlay3

The Lammily doll wants to show children that average is beautiful.

in National

House Republicans sue over Obamacare

obamacare

Republicans sued over the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

in National

Lexus recalling 422K cars to fix fuel leak

lexus

The fuel leak can increase the risk of fire, safety regulators say.

in Local

Carolyn Gardner Supporters Pack Meeting

Carolyn Gardner

Supporters of former Amherst math teacher Carolyn Gardner packed a school committee meeting Thursday night