News / Americas

    Argentina Beats Netherlands, Advances to World Cup Championship

    Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) and his teammate Pablo Zabaleta celebrate winning their 2014 World Cup semi-finals against the Netherlands in Sao Paulo July 9, 2014.
    Argentina's Lionel Messi (L) and his teammate Pablo Zabaleta celebrate winning their 2014 World Cup semi-finals against the Netherlands in Sao Paulo July 9, 2014.
    Mike Richman

    Argentina positioned itself to win its first World Cup in nearly 30 years, beating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout, 4-2, after a scoreless draw.

    The Argentines converted all four of their penalty shots against Dutch goalie Jasper Cillessen.  Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.  Argentine goalie Sergio Romero saved penalty shots by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

    The result Wednesday at rainy Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo means Argentina plays Germany in Sunday's championship game at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.  

    Argentina is seeking its third World Cup title, having won in 1978 and 1986.  Germany has won three titles: 1954, 1974 and 1990.  

    Argentine coach proud

    "I'm very happy because we reached the final, and now we will see what we can do," Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella said.  "We will give everything as usual, with humility, work and 100 percent effort.  It means so many things.  A lot of people didn't think that Argentina would be in the final, but we know what a good team we have."

    The Netherlands and Argentina engaged in a grind-it-out affair with limited scoring opportunities.  Cillessen saved a free kick by Argentine superstar Lionel Messi in the 20th minute, and a shot by Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain in the 75th narrowly missed the inside of the net.  One of the Netherlands' top scorers, Arjen Robben, fired a shot from the box in the 90th, but it was defended well.

    For the Dutch, one of the highest-scoring teams in this year's World Cup, this was their second straight game decided by penalty kicks.  They beat Costa Rica in a quarterfinal penalty shootout, but Romero was there to stop them this time.  He did not start for his Monaco club most of last season, but has yielded only three goals in the World Cup.  

    "[Penalties] are a question of luck, that is the reality," Romero said.  "I had confidence in myself and, fortunately, everything turned out well.  Hope has been intact since day one."

    Wednesday's game marked the fifth time in World Cup history a semifinal went to penalty kicks.  Messi, a four-time FIFA World Player of the Year, converted the first shot for Argentina, followed by teammates Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Rodriguez.

    For Messi, it is widely believed a World Cup championship will elevate him to the same mythical plane occupied by another Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona.  Maradona almost singlehandedly lifted his country to the World Cup title in 1986, in part with his famous "Hand of God" goal in the quarterfinals against England.  He is considered by many to be the second greatest football player of all time behind Brazilian extraordinaire Pele.

    Argentina has won all six of its World Cup matches this year.  The Dutch, who were denied a fourth trip to the World Cup finals, finished 5-1.

    Football powers to collide

    Argentina and Germany, two of the perennial world football powers, have met twice before in the World Cup championship game.  Argentina won in 1986, and the Germans won in 1990.

    This time, the Argentine team, which depends heavily on the play of Messi, will be facing a well-rounded German squad with an array of offensive weapons such as attack man Thomas Mueller.  Germany is the highest-scoring team in the tournament with 17 goals.

    In Tuesday's semifinal game, Germany gave one of the most breathtaking displays of offensive firepower in World Cup history in a 7-1 rout of host Brazil.  Germany scored five goals in the first 30 minutes, with four coming in a six-minute span.

    Brazil and the Netherlands will play for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    WHO Chief Going to Olympics, Says Zika Risk Low

    Worries about security, the Zika virus and an economic crisis could deter travelers, with just under a third of event tickets as yet unsold

    Brazilian Drug Lord Found Serving Time in Paraguay Prison ‘VIP’ Suite

    Raided by authorities, three-room ‘cell’ was found to have library, kitchen, conference room and even a plasma television

    Uruguay Formally Ends its Presidency of Mercosur Trade Bloc

    Ministry statement said there are no legal arguments for blocking transfer of presidency to Venezuela, it stopped short of announcing that Venezuela would now lead South American group

    Court: Brazil's Lula to Stand Trial for Obstruction of Justice

    Brazil's ex-president officially a defendant in sprawling corruption probe focused on state-run oil company Petrobras

    Australian Olympic Team Evacuated for Dorm Fire

    Small fire in basement of team living quarters caused no injuries; quality of Olympic housing for athletes sparks complaints

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought