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No one expected the beating that Brazil received from Germany, finally providing a standout performance in the later part of the tournament. We would not be so lucky to determine a winner early between Netherlands and Argentina, as both defensive sides fought well, silencing each other’s offense throughout regular time, and leaving the entrance to the final to be left up to penalty kicks.
The Washington Post gave the advantage to the Oranje, as they would make a run at a consecutive year into the title match, with three attempts so far, seeking the elusive trophy. Not to count Argentina’s Lionel Messi out, but his performance so far has not seen him even peak outside of the shadow of legend Diego Maradona’s showing at his World Cup in 1986. But, he could get his chance.
The Straits Times keenly noted the likelihood of extra time, with Gonzalo Higuaín having showed a spark of his former self in the last match, would really be the key for Argentina. Their prediction of the Dutch front line, with Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder, was spot on, stating they have wasted several opportunities throughout the tournament, and it would come back to haunt them at the end of penalties.
As we’ve seen, goalkeepers make or break these games, and Argentina’s Sergio Romero would become a national hero. With Netherland’s first attempt by Ron Vlaar, Romero would come up with the crucial block. Robben would make his, but a perfectly timed dive to the right would deny Wesley Sniejder his attempt. With Argentina’s fourth goal by Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina would head to the final for their 5th World Cup final appearance.
The stage is set, with Germany and Argentina going head to head in the final on Sunday July 13. Brazil have a chance to redeem themselves against Netherlands in the fight for third place on Saturday July 12.