Story of the match:

  • Argentina reach first World Cup final since 1990
  • Germany await in Sunday's final in Rio
  • Vlaar and Sneijder miss penalties for Dutch in shootout
  • Cillessen in goal, Krul remains on bench

Argentina will meet Germany in Sunday's World Cup final at the Maracana after winning a penalty shootout to eliminate the Netherlands.

After 120 tedious and goalless minutes that were in stark contrast to the spectacular shock of the first semi-final between Brazil and the Germans, Argentina prevailed and a repeat of the 1986 and 1990 finals - when they played West Germany - will be played out in Rio.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero was the hero with penalty saves from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder, while opposite number Jasper Cillessen was unable to repeat the feats of his deputy, Tim Krul, in the quarter-final win against Costa Rica.

Sergio Romero

Romero saved two penalties to help Argentina win their fourth World Cup shootout in five attempts

And for Brazil, a nation still coming to terms with their worst defeat after being crushed 7-1 by Germany in Belo Horizonte, there is arguably the even more harrowing prospect of seeing fierce rivals Argentina lift the World Cup in the iconic surroundings of the Maracana.

Germany will be favourites given the manner in which they destroyed Brazil but there is a streak of steel running through Alejandro Sabella's side that offers resilience beyond the genius of Lionel Messi.

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal - who will now complete the formalities by guiding his side in Saturday's third/fourth place play-off before taking over at Manchester United - employed first the returning Nigel de Jong, then Jordy Clasie, to shadow Messi.

Match facts

The Netherlands have lost both of their semi-final shootouts (the first coming v Brazil in 1998).

Argentina have progressed from all four of their World Cup semi-finals.

Arjen Robben attempted just one pass in the first half against Argentina.

Lionel Messi did not touch the ball in the Dutch penalty area during the 120 minutes.

Seven of the 14 knockout games at this tournament have gone to extra time, the most since 1990 (eight).

This was the first World Cup semi-final to end goalless (including extra time).

The plan succeeded but Van Gaal's problem was his side's failure to pose any attacking threat, with Robin van Persie peripheral and substituted, and Arjen Robben only able to deliver their first shot on target after 99 minutes.

That Argentina's chances were at a premium was down, in large part, to Aston Villa defender Vlaar, the game's outstanding performer at the heart of the Dutch defence. He did not deserve the cruel fate of being one of those to miss a penalty.

Analysis

"Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen will be disappointed with that last penalty. That was the one he could have saved with stronger wrists.

"But it was a poor game. A poor level for a semi-final of a World Cup. Let's hope the final is better.

"Argentina have had extra-time, more travelling, you've got to think it's there for Germany to win."

So to Sunday's showpiece and the repeat of the 1986 final, which Argentina won 3-2 to record their last World Cup triumph, and West Germany's 1-0 victory in Rome four years later, which was their last win.

Argentina will see the prospect of winning in Brazil's heartland as the perfect incentive. Earlier in this tournament, their supporters had flooded across the border in thousands in a show of support and they will do so again.

This was not a spectacle of any sort, but as firecrackers went off among Argentina fans and their players celebrated in front of them in the Sao Paulo rain, they did not have a care.

The pattern was set from the opening moments as De Jong's role - upon his surprise recovery from a groin injury - became clear. He was to stay in close proximity to Messi in an attempt to stifle Argentina's main creative force and, to a large extent, it worked.

Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder has his penalty saved by Argentina's Sergio Romero

Watch Netherlands-Argentina shootout

Messi, however, cannot be kept completely quiet and he produced the only serious test for either goalkeeper in a stale first half when his free-kick was held comfortably by Cillessen after Vlaar fouled Enzo Perez.

Robben's lack of influence was reflected in the statistic that he only had four touches in the first 45 minutes, also an indication of how the Netherlands had failed to test Argentina's defence.

As heavy rain poured down on the Arena de Sao Paulo's uncovered stands after the interval, and some fans decided to seek shelter out of sight of the game, the stretching Gonzalo Higuain came closest to breaking the stalemate when he steered Perez's angled cross into the side-netting.

Match statistics

Netherlands

Argentina

0

Goals

0

1

Shots on target

4

4

Shots off target

2

2

Blocked shots

2

4

Corners

4

15

Fouls

10

4

Offsides

4

2

Yellow Cards

1

0

Red Cards

0

56

Possession %

44

Sabella made a double change with 10 minutes remaining, sending on Aguero and Rodrigo Palacio for Higuain and Perez, but still there was no invention or ambition.

Van Gaal even sacrificed the listless Van Persie in extra time - his third change, a move which deprived the coach of the opportunity to introduce Krul again - and the tedium was lifted when Robben produced the first Dutch shot on target after 99 minutes. It was saved easily by Romero.

In a rare spell of excitement, Cillessen saved from Palacio and Maxi Rodriguez but there was no escaping the almost inevitable conclusion of penalties.

Vlaar had his opening penalty saved by Romero and, when Sneijder missed their third, the Netherlands' fate was effectively sealed.

Robben and Dirk Kuyt scored but Argentina were unerring, with Messi, Ezequiel Garay and Aguero on target before Rodriguez's kick sent Sabella's side to Rio.

Netherlands v Argentina

Ahead of kick-off, Argentina fans were hopeful that their team could reach their fifth World Cup final

Netherlands v Argentina

Lionel Messi and his team-mates wore black armbands in tribute to Argentina-born legend Alfredo Di Stefano, who died aged 88 on Monday

Netherlands v Argentina

There was also a moment's silence for the former Real Madrid forward in the Arena De Sao Paulo

Netherlands v Argentina

Argentina supporters taunted their arch rivals Brazil, following their 7-1 semi-final defeat by Germany

Netherlands v Argentina

Until the shootout, excitement levels were low for soaked supporters inside the Arena de Sao Paulo

Netherlands v Argentina

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain prodded the game's best chance into the side-netting

Argentina celebrate winning the penalty shootout

Argentina will head to Rio de Janeiro and a date with Germany in the final at the Maracana

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Netherlands

  • 01 Cillessen
  • 04 Martins Indi Booked (Janmaat - 45' )
  • 02 Vlaar
  • 03 de Vrij
  • 20 Wijnaldum
  • 05 Blind
  • 06 de Jong (Clasie - 62' )
  • 15 Kuyt
  • 11 Robben
  • 10 Sneijder
  • 09 van Persie (Huntelaar - 96' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 07 Janmaat
  • 08 de Guzmán
  • 12 Verhaegh
  • 13 Veltman
  • 14 Kongolo
  • 16 Clasie
  • 17 Lens
  • 19 Huntelaar
  • 21 Depay
  • 22 Vorm
  • 23 Krul

Argentina

  • 01 Romero
  • 16 Rojo
  • 04 Zabaleta
  • 15 Demichelis Booked
  • 02 Garay
  • 22 Lavezzi (Rodríguez - 101' )
  • 06 Biglia
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 08 Pérez (Palacio - 81' )
  • 10 Messi
  • 09 Higuaín (Agüero - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Campagnaro
  • 05 Gago
  • 11 Rodríguez
  • 12 Orión
  • 13 Fernández
  • 17 Fernández
  • 18 Palacio
  • 19 Álvarez
  • 20 Agüero
  • 21 Andujar
  • 23 Basanta
Ref: Cüneyt Çakir
Att: 63,267

Match Stats

Shots

7 8

On target

1 4

Corners

4 4

Fouls

15 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Netherlands 0(2), Argentina 0(4).

120:00 +5:56

Penalty Shootout ends, Netherlands 0(2), Argentina 0(4).

120:00 +5:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0(2), Argentina 0(4). Maxi Rodríguez (Argentina) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

120:00 +4:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0(2), Argentina 0(3). Dirk Kuyt (Netherlands) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

120:00 +4:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0(1), Argentina 0(3). Sergio Agüero (Argentina) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

120:00 +3:33

Penalty saved! Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the top left corner.

120:00 +2:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0(1), Argentina 0(2). Ezequiel Garay (Argentina) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

120:00 +2:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0(1), Argentina 0(1). Arjen Robben (Netherlands) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

120:00 +1:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Netherlands 0, Argentina 0(1). Lionel Messi (Argentina) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

120:00 +0:31

Penalty saved! Ron Vlaar (Netherlands) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the centre of the goal.

120:00 Penalty shootout

Penalty Shootout begins Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

120:00 +1:03

Second Half Extra Time ends, Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

119:47

Attempt blocked. Dirk Kuyt (Netherlands) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daryl Janmaat with a cross.

116:47

Foul by Arjen Robben (Netherlands).

116:47

Javier Mascherano (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

116:28

Attempt saved. Maxi Rodríguez (Argentina) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a cross.

114:47

Attempt saved. Rodrigo Palacio (Argentina) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Maxi Rodríguez with a through ball.

110:48

Foul by Arjen Robben (Netherlands).

110:48

Marcos Rojo (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

109:55

Attempt missed. Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

108:21

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

106:18

Delay in match Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina) because of an injury.

105:00

Second Half Extra Time begins Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

106:15

First Half Extra Time ends, Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

105:49

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Daryl Janmaat.

104:28 Booking

Booking Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

104:19

Foul by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands).

104:19

Javier Mascherano (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

100:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Argentina. Maxi Rodríguez replaces Ezequiel Lavezzi.

98:31

Attempt saved. Arjen Robben (Netherlands) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wesley Sneijder.

95:50

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

95:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Netherlands. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar replaces Robin van Persie.

93:24

Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

93:24

Foul by Lucas Biglia (Argentina).

91:31

Foul by Robin van Persie (Netherlands).

91:31

Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00

First Half Extra Time begins Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

90:00 +3:09 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

90:00 +2:38

Offside, Netherlands. Georginio Wijnaldum tries a through ball, but Daryl Janmaat is caught offside.

90:00 +0:06

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

90:00 +0:05

Attempt blocked. Arjen Robben (Netherlands) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Wesley Sneijder.

86:06

Attempt missed. Jordy Clasie (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

85:34

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

85:18

Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:18

Foul by Marcos Rojo (Argentina).

83:58

Foul by Dirk Kuyt (Netherlands).

83:58

Lucas Biglia (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:23

Jasper Cillessen (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:23

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Argentina).

83:14

Attempt saved. Marcos Rojo (Argentina) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

81:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Argentina. Sergio Agüero replaces Gonzalo Higuaín.

80:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Argentina. Rodrigo Palacio replaces Enzo Pérez.

76:21

Daley Blind (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

76:21

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina).

74:45

Attempt missed. Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Enzo Pérez with a cross.

73:46

Offside, Netherlands. Daryl Janmaat tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.

71:39

Foul by Ron Vlaar (Netherlands).

71:39

Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

70:42

Attempt blocked. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcos Rojo.

69:15

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

68:53

Delay in match Daryl Janmaat (Netherlands) because of an injury.

67:06

Foul by Jordy Clasie (Netherlands).

67:06

Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.

63:38

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

61:47

Delay in match Lucas Biglia (Argentina) because of an injury.

61:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Netherlands. Jordy Clasie replaces Nigel de Jong.

60:50

Foul by Daryl Janmaat (Netherlands).

60:50

Lucas Biglia (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:55

Attempt blocked. Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ezequiel Lavezzi with a cross.

53:39

Nigel de Jong (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:39

Foul by Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina).

50:01

Offside, Argentina. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

49:14

Attempt missed. Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

48:32 Booking

Booking Martín Demichelis (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

48:12

Foul by Martín Demichelis (Argentina).

48:12

Arjen Robben (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:38

Enzo Pérez (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:38

Foul by Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands).

45:00

Second Half begins Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Netherlands. Daryl Janmaat replaces Bruno Martins Indi.

45:00 +2:10 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Netherlands 0, Argentina 0.

44:55

Foul by Marcos Rojo (Argentina).

44:55

Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:04 Booking

Booking Bruno Martins Indi (Netherlands) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

44:03

Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:03

Foul by Bruno Martins Indi (Netherlands).

41:53

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina).

41:53

Robin van Persie (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

41:21

Foul by Lionel Messi (Argentina).

41:21

Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:37

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

38:12

Delay in match Arjen Robben (Netherlands) because of an injury.

37:24

Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

37:24

Foul by Bruno Martins Indi (Netherlands).

36:03

Foul by Martín Demichelis (Argentina).

36:03

Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:45

Offside, Argentina. Ezequiel Lavezzi tries a through ball, but Gonzalo Higuaín is caught offside.

33:24

Offside, Argentina. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

31:29

Offside, Netherlands. Wesley Sneijder tries a through ball, but Stefan de Vrij is caught offside.

30:52

Corner, Netherlands. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

29:12

Hand ball by Robin van Persie (Netherlands).

27:54

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

26:07

Delay in match Javier Mascherano (Argentina) because of an injury.

23:37

Attempt missed. Ezequiel Garay (Argentina) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Ezequiel Lavezzi with a cross following a corner.

22:50

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

20:13

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Bruno Martins Indi.

18:28

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Stefan de Vrij.

17:56

Javier Mascherano (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:56

Dangerous play by Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands).

14:15

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Argentina) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

12:59

Foul by Ron Vlaar (Netherlands).

12:59

Enzo Pérez (Argentina) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:15

Attempt missed. Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dirk Kuyt.

9:50

Foul by Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands).

9:50

Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:55

Offside, Netherlands. Dirk Kuyt tries a through ball, but Arjen Robben is caught offside.

4:36

Offside, Argentina. Sergio Romero tries a through ball, but Enzo Pérez is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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