News / Americas

World Cup: Argentina, Netherlands Advance

Argentina's players celebrate near Belgium's Marouane Fellaini, left, after winning their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, Brasilia national stadium, July 5, 2014.
Argentina's players celebrate near Belgium's Marouane Fellaini, left, after winning their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, Brasilia national stadium, July 5, 2014.
Mike Richman

Argentina qualified for its first trip to the World Cup semifinals in nearly a quarter-century Saturday, while the Netherlands secured its second straight visit to the semifinal round.

The Argentines knocked off Belgium, 1-0, in Brasilia. Striker Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal, firing the ball into the corner of the net less than 10 minutes into the match.

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi had a chance to make it 2-0 toward the end of the game, but goalie Thibaut Courtois made the save.

Argentina now heads to its first World Cup semifinal since 1990, after being eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2010.

"We produced a very complete match," Messi said. "We weren't able to create that many chances, but they didn't make that many clear chances, either."

Messi and Maradona

The Argentines are seeking their third World Cup championship, after wins in 1978 and 1986. In 1986, they were led by Diego Maradona, a man widely considered the greatest soccer player ever behind Brazilian legend Pele.

Messi, a four-time FIFA Player of the Year, said he and his teammates took great pride in matching the achievement of Argentina's 1990 team.

"This is amazing," said Messi, who is often compared with Maradona. "We knew it was going to be difficult. Argentina [has] gone a long time without doing this, and it was us who crossed the frontier."

Argentina next plays the Netherlands in the semifinals on Wednesday in Sao Paulo. The game marks a rematch of the 1978 World Cup championship, which Argentina won, 3-1.

Both teams have won all five of their matches at this year's World Cup.

In Salvador Saturday, the Netherlands posted a 4-3 penalty shootout win over the surprise of the World Cup, Costa Rica, following a scoreless draw.

Dutch goalie Tim Krul, who came off the bench late in extra time and played in the shootout, dove to his left to stop penalty shots by Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana. Krul is 5.1 centimeters taller than starting goalie Jasper Cillessen.

The Dutch, who converted all four of their penalty shots, dominated the match in regulation and extra time.

But Costa Rica's goalie Keylor Navas made a series of outstanding saves, stopping star striker Robin van Persie at least twice. Van Persie also was denied by midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda, who blocked an attempt while standing on the goal line.

Another dangerous Dutch player, Wesley Sneijder, was inches away from scoring. But his shot in regulation hit the post and another in extra time bounced off the crossbar.

Krul clutch

"We had a lot of chances, but it didn't go in," Krul said on Dutch television. "Then I come in, stop two penalties and here we are."

Krul praised Dutch coach Louis van Gaal for pulling Cillessen at the time he did.

"The trick is good," the goalie said. "A lot of preparation went into it."

The other semifinal game, Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, pits teams believed by many to be the world's top two football powers: Brazil and Germany.

But Brazil will be without two key players. Its leader and superstar, Neymar, broke a vertebra when Colombia's Juan Zuniga kneed him near the end of Brazil's 2-1 win in the quarterfinals. Neymar, who has scored four goals in the World Cup, has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament.

Brazilian captain Thiago Silva will not play because of a yellow-card suspension. He scored a goal in the win over Colombia, after a corner kick by Neymar.

Brazil, Germany and Argentina have won 10 of the 19 World Cups. The Dutch were finalists in 1974, 1978 and 2010.

This year's championship game is on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Imran from: Bangladesh
July 08, 2014 5:24 AM
Now Argentina is in a great form. It is possible to win the FIFA world cup 2014 by Argentina. As they had missed a lots of chances scoring goal against Switzerland, they have to work really hard in Semi final I think.


by: Tani from: Albania
July 06, 2014 2:56 PM
Netherlands will become Champions for all the injustices of the past by stepping over all the three teams that denied them be World Champions in the past! The already beat Spain (2010 final's rival) in group stage, they will beat Argentina (1978 final's rival) in the semifinal and will beat Germany in the final (1974 final's rival) in a circular revenging magic the Dutch themselves may not have even imagined!

In Response

by: jony from: malaysia
July 07, 2014 5:28 AM
No way im not agree wt u coz argentina will win the world cup 2014...coz messi . Di maria higuen.rojo n gago they played so good ...so i hope they will win the world cup

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Attack on Colombian Police Kills 7

Defense ministry vows to 'maintain and intensify' operations against armed groups, drug traffickers following the attack
More

Chronically Hungry Numbers Decline

Three U.N. agencies have released the State of Food Security in the World report
More

UN: Enforced Disappearances Continue Unabated Globally

UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances says more than 43,000 cases from 88 countries still remain to be clarified
More

Hurricane Odile Weakens, Still a Threat to Mexico

Odile could drench Baja California with as much as 46 centimeters of rain by Friday
More

Powerful Hurricane Threatens Mexico's Baja California

US forecasters have downgraded Odile to strong Category 3 storm, with top sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour
More

Hard-hitting Films Tackle Homelessness at Toronto Festival

'Time Out of Mind,' 'Shelter,' and 'Heaven Knows What' all focus on characters struggling with homelessness, addiction on the streets of New York
More