Created on 10-07-2014 at 00:55 AM
Germany will play Argentina in Sunday's 2014 World Cup Final after the South Americans defeated the Netherlands 4–2 on penalties following a dour goalless draw in normal and extra time in Wednesday’s last four showdown. Sunday's clash is a rerun of the 1986 and 1990 finals when the teams won one apiece. Arjen Robben and the men in orange are left to contest Saturday's match for third place against Brazil.
“We deserved better than that but we can be proud of what we've achieved. It still hurts,” commented Robben, “we pulled together and gave it our best shot at this World Cup. There can be no criticism for anyone. I'm incredibly proud of this team.”
The semi-final meeting between Argentina and the Dutch also represented a head-to-head between tournament superstars Lionel Messi on four goals and Robben with three. However neither player was able to make a significant impact in a cautious encounter dominated by the two defensive lines. Chances were few and far between in the turgid game until the very last minute of normal time when Robben finally found space in the box and aimed for the far corner, only for Javier Mascherano to deflect the ball wide.
Neither side was prepared to take any extra-time risks in front of a 63,267 crowd in Sao Paolo and the match almost inevitably went to penalties. Argentine keeper Sergio Romero emerged as his country's hero with saves from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. Robben clinically tucked away his spot kick but it was to no avail as all La Albiceleste’s takers hit the target.