Fiji Time: 11:23 PM on Saturday 19 August

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Argentina into WC final after shoot-out

Ap
Friday, July 11, 2014

SAO PAULO - The World Cup's second semi-final was supposed to put the silky skills of Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in the spotlight. Instead, a goalkeeper and two rock-solid defences stole the show.

Argentina goalie Sergio Romero saved two penalties to send Argentina into the World Cup final with a 4-2 shoot-out win over the Netherlands after a lack of creative spark from either team consigned yesterday's semi-final to a 0-0 stalemate.

A day after Germany lit up the World Cup with its clinical 7-1 destruction of host Brazil, the Dutch and Argentines could not manage a goal between them in 120 minutes before the shoot-out.

Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, will have to do play far better in Monday's final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium if he is to engineer a win over the powerful German team.

The Barcelona star was muted throughout the match, rarely managing to shake off his markers.

At the Itaquerao Stadium, he was overshadowed by his goalkeeper and the man he replaced as Argentina captain, Javier Mascherano, who bossed the midfield for his team the way surprised starter Nigel de Jong did for the Dutch.

When Robben looked like deciding the match in stoppage time, Mascherano's perfectly timed sliding tackle blocked his shot at the near post.

Romero thought to be a weak link for Argentina and not even a starter for his Monaco club most of last season had almost nothing to do during the match, but blocked penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the shoot-out.

For Argentina, Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez all converted their spot kicks.

"It's luck, that's the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper," Romero said.

"I had confidence, thank God things turned out well."

Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella praised his side on reaching the final.

"I am very pleased. This was a very hard and even match.

The team is extraordinary."








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.63320.6142
JPY 55.309152.3091
GBP 0.38640.3784
EUR 0.42580.4138
NZD 0.69220.6592
AUD 0.63630.6113
USD 0.50100.4840

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 14th, August, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Girl, 14, looks after grandma
  2. Naupoto: The face of RFMF
  3. Consensual sex claim
  4. Lanyon is Miss People's Choice
  5. Bus catches fire
  6. Fiji faces challenge, loses meteorologists
  7. University opens new institute
  8. Korovulavula crowned Vodafone Hibiscus charity queen
  9. State rating
  10. Bacterial outbreak

Top Stories this Week

  1. Fijian dies in crash after fleeing crime scene Tuesday (15 Aug)
  2. Couple ties knot on REACH mobile bus Sunday (13 Aug)
  3. Man 'run over' by car Tuesday (15 Aug)
  4. Hope in the darkest hour Thursday (17 Aug)
  5. The leaping point Monday (14 Aug)
  6. Man stabs duo Wednesday (16 Aug)
  7. Nawai stops Tabuarua in the first round Monday (14 Aug)
  8. Mysterious calls after the murder Tuesday (15 Aug)
  9. Surprise hailstorm Thursday (17 Aug)
  10. Retirement age, salary on agenda Wednesday (16 Aug)