July 09, 2014

Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final: Argentina plays its first World Cup semifinal since 1990, facing today a Netherlands team looking to reach its second consecutive final. The countries have met four times in the tournament and four other times. Argentina won only one of the matches, but it was the 1978 World Cup final.

posted by rcade to soccer at 02:31 PM - 8 comments

I would like to be a fly on the wall at the World Cup viewing party of the King and Queen of Holland. Seems that the Queen was born and raised in Argentina. She says she'll be rooting for Holland, but I'll bet she has her fingers crossed behind her back.

posted by Howard_T at 04:07 PM on July 09, 2014

No idea who ate all the pies but it appears Germany ate all the goals. This is the third time Netherlands has gone to half time without a shot on goal. Assuming that's the true spirit of counterattacking.

If it's not the plan, the Dutch are probably getting a good look at van Gaal's brains.

posted by yerfatma at 04:59 PM on July 09, 2014

That game was a bummer. I guess the defenses played well in shutting down Lionel Messi on one side and Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder on the other, but I wanted to see some scoring so the trailing side would have to take chances.

That's the end of Robben, Sneijder and Robbie Van Persie as the key elements of a World Cup squad, I'm guessing. All three are 30, and the team was the oldest in the tournament.

Anyone know why Memphis Depay didn't play?

posted by rcade at 08:46 PM on July 09, 2014

I quite enjoyed it, as a textbook on defensive structures.

If he was fit, Depay probably didn't play because Van Gaal wanted to keep the 5-3-2 against Sabella's fluid 4-3-3. Depay has come on previously on the left when Van Gaal wanted to flip the switch to his own 4-3-3.

It was an overly cautious approach - I thought he might go for it in the last 20 minutes, but this would have left some gaps for Messi and Aguero between the lines. The 5-3-2 allowed him to man mark Messi with De Jong and then Clasies, as well as have back up.

In the end, the team that looked like they wanted to win got through the penalty shootout. I wanted Holland to finally get a World Cup, but this version is pretty hard to love.

posted by owlhouse at 10:10 PM on July 09, 2014

Netherlands players with the exception of Kuyt and van Persie had the look of fear on them, and van Persie just looked exhausted. I couldn't believe that according to van Gaal the first two players he asked to take the first penalty wouldn't do it; also couldn't believe van Gaal told the press that.

Good luck, ManUre, hope you enjoy the fight for a top half place again.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:29 PM on July 10, 2014

Did Vlaar almost score the first penalty anyway?

posted by bender at 11:37 AM on July 11, 2014

It looks like it hits him prior to that spin goalward. But man that was close to epic keeper fail.

posted by rcade at 12:05 PM on July 11, 2014

Woah. It did not look like it was going to stop. That would have been amazing.

posted by tron7 at 02:12 PM on July 11, 2014

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