Argentina will play Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final after the South American side defeated Netherlands in a tight, tense affair. The match was all even at the end of 90 minutes and extra time too, with the dreaded penalty shoot-out being employed to decide a victor.
Over 20 years of waiting
Victory placed Argentina into the final of a World Cup final for the first time since 1990. The final will also provide Argentina an opportunity to win a senior level trophy, which they intern have not achieved since 1993. This special feat of making the World Cup final is the first time Argentina have done so without playing at home or having the great Diego Maradona in their squad.
Not so Messi
The second semi-final in comparison to the first, seemed more like it was being played on planet earth as the game was a tight and tense affair with not too many chances, as opposed to Brazil’s 7-1 pummelling. Lionel Messi was yet again undoubtedly the centrepiece for his side, even more so in the absence of Angel Di Maria. Despite the focused attention of supplying Messi the ball, he put in a lacklustre performance and Argentina’s victory came as a result of a superb team effort.
The real hero’s
Javier Mascherano playered a pivotal role as he was the catalyst in ending a majority of Dutch attacks and he put in an amazing last ditch tackle (Contender for tackle of the tournament) to deny Arjen Robben a late match winning goal. Martin Demichelis and Ezequiel Garay performed an admirable job in the center of defense too. The final Argentine hero, has been under constant media scrutiny since his inclusion, Sergio Romero, won the FIFA man of the match for his heroics in saving two penalties in the shootout. Romero’s two saves with Argentina’s 100% success rate gave them a resounding 4-2 victory in the shoot-out.
Tim Krul was not the heroic substitute goalkeeper as in the quarter-finals, although this time the Dutch did not seem as deserving of the win. Robin Van Persie who just managed to finish the last match having gone to extra time, did not have the legs to continue till the shootout. Arjen Robben who has run defences ragged throughout the tournament was contained extremely well, in a solid Argentine team effort.
Argentina will now meet Germany in 2014 FIFA World Cup final, where they would relish winning the most coveted trophy in sports, in Brazil’s very own iconic Maracana.