Argentina beat Dutch in shootout to set up Germany final

Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:48am EDT
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By Julian Linden

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Argentina reached their first World Cup final in 24 years on Wednesday, beating the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties after the first scoreless semi in the tournament's history, with old foes Germany awaiting them in Sunday's showpiece.

The match will be a repeat of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals, the first of which was won by Argentina before the then West Germany gained revenge four years later.

Argentina's win compounded the misery for hosts Brazil who were humiliated 7-1 by Germany on Tuesday before seeing their worst fears realized when their South American neighbors booked their place at the Maracana on Sunday.

Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez scored the decisive penalty for Argentina after their goalkeeper Sergio Romero had saved spot kicks from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder, triggering wild celebrations among Lionel Messi's triumphant team.

"I'm proud to be a part of this group," Messi said in a statement posted on his social media pages.

"They are all phenomenons, what a match they played.

"What madness. We are in the final. Let's enyoy it, it is just a little step more."

Brazil may have won the World Cup more than any other country, but the one they wanted most of all will now be played between two of their greatest rivals.   Continued...

Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands watches as he fails to stop the decisive penalty shot by Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez during their penalty shootout in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler