July 9, 2014 / 6:13 AM / 3 years ago

Messi's Argentina faces Netherlands in last four

(Reuters) - After Germany’s stunning demolition of hosts Brazil on Tuesday, Lionel Messi’s Argentina will seek to join the Europeans in the final when they take on 2010 runners-up the Netherlands in Sao Paulo later on Wednesday.

Argentina's Lionel Messi controls the ball during a team soccer training session at the arena di Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo, July 8, 2014, a day before their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Four-times World Player of the Year Messi has scored four goals en route to the last four and after Brazil’s exit Argentine will be greedily eyeing a possible clash with the Germans at the legendary Maracana stadium on Sunday.

The Dutch began their campaign with a 5-1 drubbing of holders Spain and will be looking to their talisman Arjen Robben, who has three goals at the finals, to help break down a well-drilled Argentine defence.

After their blistering start, Louis van Gaal’s side have cut it fine on the way to the semi-finals and needed a penalty shootout to get past Costa Rica in the last eight having only beaten Mexico by a controversial last-minute penalty in the previous round.

Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Nigel Hunt

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