Netherlands-Argentina World Cup 2014 Live: Argentina Wins On Penalty Kicks

Arjen Robben and Ezequiel Garay Netherlands Argentina 2014 World CupFinal, 0-0 (Argentina wins penalty-kick shootout 4-2): Argentina is going to the 2014 World Cup final after defeating the Netherlands in the penalty kick shootout.

Argentina won the lottery that is the penalty-kick shootout and earned the right to play Germany for real jackpot on Sunday.

The semifinal game was a tense affair which must be viewed as a tactical and defensive masterpiece. The teams cancelled each other out for 120 minutes, keeping their shapes and making timely tackles when it mattered most.

Netherlands-Argentina could would have benefited if the players had shown greater imagination in the final thirds of the field. They too often chose power and strength over fantasy when trying to create goals and scoring chances. When attacking players did hold their nerves in these crucial situations, the ultra-capable defenses eliminated the threats or goalkeepers made the necessary saves.

The Netherlands’ improbable 2014 World Cup run comes to a grinding halt at the semifinal stage, but the Dutch will be greeted as heroes when they return to Amsterdam. The Netherlands weren’t expected to progress beyond the Round of 16, but van Gaal masterfully managed his squad throughout the tournament to produce a team that was greater than the sum of its parts. The Netharlands’ scintillating victory over Spain set the tone for a thrilling tournament and will stand as one of the country’s greatest triumphs on the soccer world’s biggest stage.

Argentina will face Germany on Sunday in the 2014 World Cup final. Lionel Messi and Co. can cement their places in history with a win, but they must pass with greater intent and finish more clinically against the Germans than they did against the Dutch.

That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.

Penalty-kick shootout: The Netherlands will shoot first, and Vlaar will do the honors.

Romero saves Vlaar’s penalty kick.

Messi will shoot first for Argentina. Messi scores. Argentina is up 1-0.

Robben slides his penalty kick past Romero.

Garay fires his spot-kick past Cillessen. It’s 2-1 Argentina.

Romero saves Sneijder’s penalty kick. Argentina can take a commanding lead if it converts its next opportunity. Aguero will take it.

Aguero’s spot kick sneaks under the diving Cillessen. It’s 3-1 Argentina.

Kuyt beats Romero from the spot.

Rodriguez scores. Argentina wins the penalty shootout 4-2.

End of extra time, 0-0: That’s the end of extra time. A penalty-kick shootout will determine the winner of this 2014 World Cup semifinal.

The Netherlands is going to a penalty-kick shootout for the second-straight game. Tim Krul was the hero against Costa Rica, but Cillessen will be in the spotlight against Argentina.

History doesn’t favor the Dutch in this situation.

117th minute, 0-0: Messi dribbles to the by-line and crosses to Rodriguez, who scuffs his volleyed shot, which allowed Cillessen to make an easy save.

115th minute, 0-0: Argentina wastes its best chance of the game, as Palacio heads straight to Cillessen from point-blank range.

109th minute, 0-0: De Vrij fails to hit the target with a long-range shot. The Dutch defender is not alone when it comes to wayward shooting in this semifinal.

107th minute, 0-0: Zabaleta is down and receiving treatment after a nasty collision with Kuyt.

106th minute, 0-0: The second half of extra time is underway.

105th minute, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half of extra time. It’s still goalless (and probably will stay that way for … eternity).

You can blame Ron Vlaar for that.

Meanwhile, Messi has gone missing from the place where he can do the most damage.

105th minute, 0-0: Huntelaar fouls Mascherano. The Netherlands striker is cautioned for the offense.

100th minute, 0-0: Argentina makes its final substitution, replacing Lavezzi with Maxi Rodriguez.

98th minute, 0-0: Robben dribbles past two defenders and shoots from distance, but it goes straight to Romero.

96th minute, 0-0: Van Persie is leaving the game after 95 ineffective minutes. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar replaces the Dutch captain and will line up as a striker.

95th minute, 0-0: The stalemate continues.

One reason is because the Netherlands’ playmakers haven’t been able to link together.

91st minute, 0-0: The first half of extra time is underway.

End of 90 minutes, 0-0: That’s the end of normal time. After 90 goalless minutes, we’re headed to extra time.

There will be two 15-minute halves in extra time. If neither team is ahead after 30 minutes, penalty kicks will determine the winner.

90th minute, 0-0: Robben sneaks in behind the defense, but Mascherano blocks the shot with a desperate tackle.

90th minute, 0-0: There will be three minutes of added time in the second half.

89th minute, 0-0: Neither team has made a breakthrough, as the prospect of extra time grows more realistic by the second.

84th minute, 0-0: Cillessen easily saves Rojo’s long-range effort.

81st minute, 0-0: Argentina is making a pair of changes. Rodrigo Palacio and Sergio Aguero enter the game. Perez and a disappointed Higuain depart.

79th minute, 0-0: It’s still goalless, as the game approaches the final 10 minutes of normal time. The Dutch are comfortable in these situations.

75th minute, 0-0: Higuain hits the side netting.

74th minute, 0-0: Van Persie misses with an acrobatic over-head kick.

It wouldn’t have counted, as van Persie was offside.

69th minute, 0-0: Now Janmaat is down after his head collided with the back of Rojo’s head during an aerial challenge.

66th minute, 0-0: It now has been 50 minutes since one of the teams has hit the target with a shot, such is the defensive masterpiece this game has become.

64th minute, 0-0: Biglia is down after suffering an apparent arm injury in a collision with Janmaat. The Argentina midfielder looks like he wants to continue.

62nd minute, 0-0: The Netherlands is making another substitution, as Jordi Classie enters in place of de Jong.

58th minute, 0-0: Argentina misses with another scoring half-chance, as Janmaat intervenes before Higuain can direct his header on goal.

55th minute, 0-0: There has been little action in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the Argentina fans in the stands are antagonizing the Brazilians in the crowd with their hit, 2014 World Cup anthem “Brasil Decime Que Se Siente.”

48th minute, 0-0: Demichelis is cautioned for a foul on Robben.

47th minute, 0-0: Garay lost one of his cleats and still cleared the ball out of danger in another strange, but true, 2014 World Cup moment.

46th minute, 0-0: The Netherlands made a substitution at halftime, replacing Martins Indi with Daryl Janmaat.

46th minute, 0-0: The second half is underway.

Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half. It’s goalless in Sao Paulo.

The first 45 minutes were cagey and tense, which produced a non-spectacle in the first half of this 2014 World Cup semifinal.

The teams committed to executing their respective game plans. Argentina is dominating possession and trying to unhinge the Dutch defense, but the Netherlands’ tactical discipline is making it impossible.

The Netherlands is sitting deep and defending with 10 players at times. The Dutch like to counter-attack with speed, but Argentina is doing a good job of keeping enough players behind the ball to prevent the Netherlands from striking quickly.

The Dutch won’t be able to defend for another 45 minutes. Van Persie must position himself better, and Robben simply must come to life.

45th minute, 0-0: Martins Indi is cautioned for grabbing Messi, as the Argentine was trying to dribble past him.

37th minute, 0-0: Argentina is trying to unbalance the Netherlands with their movement, but the Dutch aren’t taking the bait.

One of Argentina’s front three tends to drop into the midfield in an effort to lure a Netherlands defender out of position, while another forward darts into the space and a teammate plays a ball over the top.

The tactic is helping Argentina probe deep into the Netherlands’ territory, but the final pass still is missing.

32nd minute, 0-0: The Netherlands forces Romero to act for the first time, swinging crosses into the penalty area, which the Argentina goalkeeper punches away.

27th minute, 0-0: Mascherano is down after a clash of heads with Wijnaldum.

The Argentina midfielder looks dazed, but he should be able to continue.

24th minute, 0-0: Argentina comes close, as Garay heads a corner kick over the crossbar.

It was Argentina’s first real scoring chance.

21st minute, 0-0: Argentina is starting to seize control of the game with lengthy spells of possession which it takes into the Netherlands’ half without much resistance.

15th minute, 0-0: Messi drives a powerful free kick on goal, but Cillessen makes the save.

13th minute, 0-0: Sneijder shoots well wide from outside the Argentina penalty area.

Ninth minute, 0-0: Higuain has been particularly active in the first ten minutes.

The Argentina striker has dropped deep in order to gain possession in the midfield and drive his team forward. It can be a useful tactic, as the Netherlands is playing with three nominal center backs, and Higuain, Messi and Lavezzi can overload Dutch holding midfielder de Jong in that area of the field.

Fifth minute, 0-0: The teams have been very patient and deliberate in possession so far, which has given the opposing defense time to set itself up in formation and repel the forward raids.

Kickoff: The 2014 World Cup semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina is underway.

Pregame: The teams are out on the field for the national anthems.

3:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:

Netherlands

Argentina

2:30 p.m. ET: The Netherlands and Argentina will be hard-pressed to match the spectacle that was the first 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinal.

Nevertheless, the eyes of the soccer world will be fixed on the Arena de Sao Paulo on Wednesday, as the teams face off for a shot at glory.

The Netherlands and Argentina meet in the second semifinal of the 2014 World Cup. It’s another matchup pitting European and South American powerhouses against each other.

The Netherlands took the hard route to the semifinal. After topping Group B during round-robin play, the Dutch needed a late rally to defeat Mexico in the Round of 16 and bested Costa Rica in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinal.

Argentina won Group F by taking all nine points from its three group-stage games, albeit in unspectacular fashion. Argentina then defeated Switzerland in the Round of 16 and Belgium in the quarterfinals — both by a score of 1-0 — to earn a place in the World Cup semfinals for the first time since 1990.

Head coach Louis van Gaal leads his young Netherlands team into the fire once again. Van Gaal will have Arjen at his disposal, but captain and star striker Robin van Persie is questionable due to a stomach problem.

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has built his team around the incomparable Lionel Messi, who has scored four goals in five games at the 2014 World Cup. But Argentina’s dynamic midfielder Angel di Maria will miss the semifinal due to a thigh injury he suffered in the victory over Belgium.

The 2014 World Cup semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina kicks off at 4 p.m. Stay right here for all the action from the Arena de Sao Paulo.

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