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

AP_568873619964

A look back at some of this week's biggest newsmakers and the headlines you may have missed.

in National

How low will gas go?

19-overlay12

AAA predicts gas prices could drop below $2 a gallon by the end of the year.

in Local

Robbery Suspect of Deerfield Farm Stand Identified

police lights

An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect who possibly robbed the Kolakoski Farm Stand on Routes 5 and 10 Wednesday.

in Local

MGM Looking For Minority and Women Owned Casino Contractors

casino

Today, MGM officials will hold the second of a two-day open house at the company's State Street offices for prospective contractors. Union construction companies which are female or minority-owned are being encouraged to attend.

in Local

Holyoke State Representative Sponsors Bill To Ban Necrophilia

ma statehouse

Holyoke State Representative Aaron Vega has filed a bill to outlaw the practice of necrophilia in the Bay State. There is currently no law banning sex with the dead.