It was a Lionel Messi show as Argentina powered themselves into the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain goal whereas the Dutch had to thank their coach
It was a Lionel Messi show as Argentina powered themselves into the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain goal whereas the Dutch had to thank their coach as well substituted goalie who won them a spot in the semis.
Here’s the review of both the quarter-final games:
Argentina vs. Belgium
Result – Argentina win 1-0
Argentina reached the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup, for the first time in 24 years, after a hard fought 1-0 win over Belgium on Saturday.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal in this year’s tournament with a brilliant first time volley in the eighth minute and that turned out to be the difference between the two teams. Argentina, who had last qualified for the World Cup semis in 1990 Italia where they lost to Germany in the finals, became the second South American to reach the last four after Brazil. It was a cagey affair with both teams finding chances at a premium.
Argentina looked more threatening on the break with Lionel Messi giving the opposition trouble as usual. Belgium fans expected a lot from Chelsea forward Eden Hazard before the start of the tournament but the diminutive winger has been a big disappointment, failing to score even a single goal. Sadly for Argentina, losing their key player Angel Di Maria early due to an injury will come as a major blow ahead of the semis clash.
Netherlands vs. Costa Rica
Result – Netherlands win 4-3 on penalties
A masterful stroke from coach Louis van Gaal saw substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul turn out to be an unlikely hero on Saturday as the Netherlands beat Costa Rica 4-3 on penalties to set up a mouthwatering FIFA World Cup semifinal clash against Argentina.
Newcastle United keeper Tim Krul came on as a last gasp substitute for Jasper Cillessen, who had just minutes back made a brilliant save to keep the scores goalless.
Krul justified his substitution as he made two fine saves to end Costa Rica’s dream run in the competition. For a country that has not won a single penalty shootout in World Cup finals, the Dutch were clinical from the spot kick. Their four penalties — Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt were on the score-sheet as far as the penalties were concerned. The Netherlands would have expected to beat their Central American opponents in the first 90 minutes but they found stiff Costa Rican defence in the way.
The Netherlands were comfortable on the ball, but their opposition were happy to surrender possession. Costa Rica relied solely on quick counter attacks with skipper Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell combining well on occasions.
And so with the quarter-finals put to a close, a mouthwatering semi-final to look forward to as Netherlands meet Argentina whereas Germany takes on hosts Brazil!