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Argentina, Netherlands Clash in World Cup Semifinals

  • Mike Richman

Argentina's Ezequiel Garay, left, and Netherlands' Robin van Persie go for a header during their World Cup semifinal soccer match at Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, July 9, 2014.

Argentina's Ezequiel Garay, left, and Netherlands' Robin van Persie go for a header during their World Cup semifinal soccer match at Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, July 9, 2014.

The second semifinal match at football's (soccer's) World Cup in Brazil is under way, with Argentina battling the Netherlands for a spot in Sunday's championship game.

The two teams are playing at Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo.

Argentina is seeking its third World Cup title after wins in 1978 and 1986. The Dutch are three-time finalists, with one loss coming to Argentina in 1978 and another to Spain four years ago.

Wednesday's winner will play for the title against Germany, which gave one of the most breathtaking displays of offensive firepower in World Cup history in a 7-1 trouncing of host Brazil in Tuesday's semifinal. Germany scored five goals in the first 30 minutes, with four coming in a six-minute span.

Related video report by VOA's Scott Bobb, "Shock, Tears Prevail in Brazil After 7-1 World Cup Loss to Germany":

Germany's Andre Schuerrle scores his side's 6th goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.

Germany's Andre Schuerrle scores his side's 6th goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.

Dutch captain and star striker Robin van Persie is playing against Argentina after being considered questionable due to stomach problems. His teammate Nigel de Jong is back at his midfield position, though he was once ruled out of the tournament after tearing a groin muscle.

Lionel Messi, a four-time FIFA World Player of the Year, is leading Argentina. The Argentines also have the services of one of their top defenders, Marcos Rojo, who is back after serving a one-game suspension for accumulating two yellow cards.

Wednesday's winner will play Germany for the championship in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The loser takes on host Brazil for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.

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