SEMIFINALS DAY 2 : ARG vs NED

Nobody had seen that coming. Never in their wildest dreams had the German fans imagined such a win. 2-0 or 3-0 would have been reasonable, but not 5-0 just in the first 30mins. The Germans are through. Who will fill the other final slot? Will it be an all European final? Will a Non-South American team win it on South American soil for first in the history? Will the Dutch win their first ever World Cup? Or will Messi inspire his team to win one important trophy that he hasn’t won?

The Dutch were clinical in their group stages. They ripped apart Spain, defeated Australia narrowly and broke Chile down in the last 15 mins. In the round of 16 however they struggled against Mexico resulting in many raising doubts whether the team can make it all the way. They were trailing till the 88th min, until Sneijder scored a superb volley and Robben won a penalty, eventually converted by Huntelaar. That was a close game, Mexico had a foot in the quarter finals until the first dutch goal. In the quarter finals however the Dutch were too good for Costa Rica but the goal post was on Costa Rica’s side. The dutch hit the bar a number of times, it looked like the ball was refusing to go into the net. For penalties however, Tim Krul came on and made two saves which ensured a spot in the semi finals.

Argentina, won all their group stage games but not convincingly enough. They had a last few minutes scare against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Against Iran, they were pathetic. If it were some other team with real quality they would have beaten Argentina on that day. Messi came to the rescue in the ‘n’th moment, scoring a scintillating curler. The game against Nigeria was one of the few games that were entertaining enough, Argentina came on top eventually to top the group. Angel di Maria’s 118th min strike ensured Argentina sail through to quarter finals without having to go into penalties. Defeating Belgium was a statement for this Argentine team. Belgium were the only team to be so convincing against USA in the tournament. They looked set for the semi finals, until Gonzalo Higuain came out of no where to strike the ball to far post which nobody expected him to do. That goal was enough to book a place in the semi final.

Coming to today’s game, Argentina have won only once against the Dutch. Where has Dutch have won 4 times. RVP is a doubt for the game today, while di Maria may miss out for Argentina. Both are crucial players, Holland made it through without RVP in one of the group stage games. Argentina however will find it difficult to replace di Maria. However, if Aguero starts and can deliver then he wouldn’t be missed much. Higuain came to form against Belgium, which was expected of him in this tournament. The only problem with Argentina is their defense, they have a mouth watering attacking line up but they will have a chance if only they can hold the advances of Robben and Sneijder. Netherlands have performed well with their young defensive line up, with the display that they have shown it shouldn’t be a problem for them. But without a proper holding midfielder they will likely to struggle a bit, but not too much. If flow of ball to and from Messi is stopped then Holland will not have to worry much about Argentina’s attack. Will this game also be an high scoring one? We would like to have such games don’t we? But not every team cracks under pressure and lose their mind on what to do with the ball on the pitch. Everybody wanted a final between Brazil and Argentina which was highly unlikely to happen. Statistical studies claimed the finals would be between those two. But on pitch the players are not the same as they were long ago for both the teams. If Messi can reach the level with which he helped Barcelona for umpteen number of trophies, then Argentina might sail through but the chance of Robben doing some acrobatic moves is more likely(if you know what I mean 😉 ). No doubt he is a great player, he will be the main man for Holland without RVP.   The Dutch will sail through to setup a final against Germany. It will be a first ever all European final on South American soil.

– Gunner!

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