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Argentina, Netherlands Clash in World Cup Semifinals

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.
Mike Richman

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":

Shock, Tears Prevail in Brazil After 7-1 World Cup Loss to Germanyi
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Scott Bobb
July 09, 2014 8:16 PM
Brazilians are still reeling from the stunning defeat of their World Cup team in Tuesday's semi-finals, in which Germany routed the hosts in Belo Horizonte by a score of 7-1. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Rio de Janeiro.

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.
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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.

  • A Brazil soccer fan cries as Germany scores against her team at a semifinal World Cup match as she watches the game on a live telecast in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • Germany's Miroslav Klose and Brazil's Luiz Gustavo fight for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • Brazil's Marcelo lies on the pitch during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • Brazil soccer fans cry as they watch their team lose 7-1 to Germany at a World Cup semifinal match on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, 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.
  • Germany's Andre Schuerrle celebrates scoring 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 soccer fans celebrate their team's 7-1 victory over Brazil after watching the World Cup semifinal match on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar lies on the pitch as Brazil's Marcelo picks up the ball from the net after Germany's Andre Schuerrle scored at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • Brazil's Luiz Gustavo and Germany's Sami Khedira go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • A view of the pitch during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014.
  • A fan of Brazil sits on the ground as his team loses to Germany in a semi-final match, at the FIFA Fan Fest during the 2014 soccer World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 8, 2014.

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