Netherlands (2) 0-0 (4) Argentina: Former Liverpool man scores winning penalty

Maxi Rodriguez Argentina

Maxi Rodriguez thumped in the decisive penalty to earn Argentina a place in the World Cup final on Sunday against Germany.

Unlike the other semi-final between Brazil and Germany, the first half in the second semi-final was quiet.

Both teams were looking to nullify each other’s attacking threats, and that is just what happened in the opening exchanges.

The closest both teams were to a goal was through Lionel Messi, who had a free-kick comfortably saved by Jasper Cillessen, but it wasn’t a clear chance as the first half ended goalless.

After half-time, the match continued much the same as the first, with very few chances for either team.

The best chance of the match come in 89th minute, Netherlands talisman Arjen Robben looked to be clean through on goal, but Javier Mascherano made a superb last-ditch tackle to block the strike from close range and ensure the match went into extra-time.

The better opportunities in extra-time fell to the South Americans, with a weak header from Rodrigo Palacio, who was through on goal, but his effort didn’t trouble the Cillessen in goal.

In truth, neither time looked worthy of winning the match in 120 minutes of football, and the team to play Germany in the final was to be decided by penalties.

Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder missed their penalties for Netherlands, and Argentina scored all four of theirs to send them into Sunday’s match in the Maracana.

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