Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Netherlands vs Argentina - Competition: World Cup Semi-finals

Netherlands eliminated surprise package Costa Rica with a rather unusual move by Van Gaal as the Dutch manager replaced his starting goalkeeper Cillessen with Newcastle’s Tim Krul for the shoot-out, after the match finished 0-0. The risk paid off as Krul saved two penalties. Their performance against the Central Americans was unconvincing and very distance from the one against Spain (5-1) or Chile (2-0) in the first part of the tournament.
The Oranje will be without their powerful midfielder Nigel de Jong, who has a torn groin muscle. A possible replacement, Leroy Fer, is recovering from a hamstring injury and it is not clear if he will be fit. Ron Vlaar is a slight doubt with a knee problem so Veltman could come into contention
Argentina beat Belgium in a tight contest in the quarter-finals, with Gonzalo Higuain’s goal the difference with the South Americans winning 1-0. where Alejandro Sabella’s squad finally played as a unit and proved that they do not solely rely on superstar Lionel Messi. The Albiceleste has managed to top Group F after winning their opening clash against Bosnia-Herzegovina (2-1) and followed this up with successes against Iran (1-0) and Nigeria (3-2). In the last 16 they needed the extra time to secure a 1-0 win over Switzerland.
Angel Di Maria will miss due to a thigh strain which is likely to rule him out of the rest of the tournament while Sergio Aguero has been declared fit to play. Martín Demichelis should keep his place ahead of Fernandez at the back, while Marcos Rojo returns from suspension and should replace Basanta on the left. Sabella must choose whether to give Ezequiel Lavezzi a start or bring in one of Fernando Gago or Maxi Rodriguez in Di Maria's place.
The Dutch have not lost to Argentina in their last four encounters, winning two and drawing two. While the South American squad is known for their attack, their defense has not given up a goal in the two knockout-stage matches. Netherlands, however, are the highest scorers in the competition, scoring 12 goals so far. Argentina are still yet to win by more than a single goal in the tournament so we expect a very close match.

Netherlands last 5 matches:
13/06/14   Spain 1 – 5 Netherlands
18/06/14   Australia 2 – 3 Netherlands
23/06/14   Netherlands 2 – 0 Chile
29/06/14   Netherlands 2 – 1 Mexico
05/07/14   Netherlands P 0 – 0 Costa Rica

Argentina last 5 matches:
16/06/14   Argentina 2 – 1 Bosnia
21/06/14   Argentina 1 – 0 Iran
25/06/14   Nigeria 2 – 3 Argentina
01/07/14   Argentina E 1 – 0 Switzerland
05/07/14   Argentina 1 – 0 Belgium

Match Date: Wednesday, 9 July
Kick Off Time: 17:00 Local / 21:00 BST
Venue: Arena de Sao Paulo
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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