In Pictures: Argentina Celebrates after Reaching First World Cup Final in 24 Years

  on July 10 2014 11:33 AM
  • Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square in Buenos Aires
    Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires July 9, 2014.
  • Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square in Buenos Aires
    Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires July 9, 2014.
  • An Argentina jersey with a picture of Pope Francis is seen as fans watch the 2014 World Cup semi-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
    An Argentina jersey with a picture of Pope Francis is seen as fans watch the 2014 World Cup semi-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 9, 2014.
  • Argentina's goalkeeper Romero reacts after a save on a shot at goal by Vlaar of the Netherlands during a penalty shootout in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals in Sao Paulo
    Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero reacts after making his first save on a shot at goal by Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands during a penalty shootout in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo July 9, 2014.
  • An Argentina fan runs with the country's flag at Copacabana beach during a broadcast of the 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands in Rio de Janeiro
    An Argentina fan runs with the country's flag at Copacabana beach during a broadcast of the 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands in Rio de Janeiro, July 9, 2014.
  • Argentina fans react after their team won the 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands as they watched at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
    Argentina fans celebrate after their team won the 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands as they watched at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 9, 2014.
  • Argentina soccer fans react as they watch a broadcast of the 2014 World Cup semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
    Argentina soccer fans react as they watch a broadcast of the 2014 World Cup semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 9, 2014.
  • Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square in Buenos Aires
    Argentinian fans celebrate at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires July 9, 2014.
  • Argentina Celebrates after Reaching First World Cup Final in 24 Years
    South America lives its world cup dreams for another day as Argentina secures a thrilling win against the Netherlands to reach the final for the first time in 24 years.
  • Argentinian fans react at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square in Buenos Aires
    Argentinian fans react at the end of their 2014 World Cup semi-final soccer match against the Netherlands, at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires July 9, 2014.
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South America lives its World Cup dreams for another day as Argentina secures a thrilling win against The Netherlands to reach the final for the first time in 24 years.

The victory was worth the wait. After 120 minutes of attacks and counter-attacks had left the score line 0-0, it was time for the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Sergio Romero, the Argentine goal-keeper whom nobody probably had high hopes for, turned out to be the hero of the match as he saved 2 out of 4 penalty shots taken by the Dutch.

It was the Dutch centre-back Ron Vlaar who took the first shot for his team. Romero saved the very first one to give an instant edge to his team over the European team. Then he saved the penalty taken by Wesley Sneijder who took an extraordinary penalty shot in the quarter-final match against Costa Rica and scored. Romero hit the bull's eye twice and took his team to the final. We have already seen some of the goalkeepers in this World Cup who turned out to be heroes for their team. After Keylor Navas (Costa Rica), Manuel Neuer (Germany) and Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico); it was the turn of Romero to make his country proud.

Argentina fans turned up in plenty, fighting rain and low temperature, to witness their team to go the final for the first time in this generation. The football-crazy nation hoped to create magic again with Lionel Messi. Last time they had their moment of glory in 1986 when Diego Maradona, whom many of them consider to be the "God of football," made their team the world champion. If Argentina manages to get past Germany, it will be the third time it will win the World Cup after 1986 and 1978.

It was only the previous day when South America hit the rock bottom in terms of morale as it witnessed the host nation Brazil suffer the most humiliating defeat in its history. Brazil lost to Germany in the semi-final 1-7. Now South America will hope again with Argentina. There is one interesting piece of fact which may motivate them further. No European team has been able to win the World Cup when hosted by a South American nation.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@ibtimes.com.au

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