While the world is left in shock of Germany’s 7-1 shellacking of hosts Brazil, the other two semifinalists-- will be slugging it out for the second and last slot in the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.Argentina vs. Netherlands Kick off is at 6:00 pm AEST at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Led by Lionel Messi’s magic Argentina topped a relatively easy Group F with wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina; Iran (1-0); and Nigeria (3-2) while the Netherlands towed by Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben also ruled their group with convincing wins over Spain (5-1), Australia (3-2) and Chile (2-0).
In the knockout rounds, the La Albiceleste was tested by Switzerland (1-0, extra time) and Belgium (1-0) and the Oranje was challenged by Mexico (2-1) before being pushed to the limit by Costa Rica (0-0, 4-3 penalties). Both teams survived and will now face each other in the final four.
For all his success as a player, Messi is not satisfied with a SF appearance and wants to go all the way to the title.
"As a player winning a World Cup is the best there is. It's something you dream about when you are a kid and it never disappears,” said Messi via the tournament’s official website. "I'd prefer the World Cup than the golden boot. Always.”
Argentina is looking for their fifth WC final appearance ((1930, 1978, 1986 and 1990) while Netherlands is looking to make a back-to-back final after falling against Spain in 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Like Messi, Van Persie’s mindset is about the team and not the individual.
"This World Cup is not about Robin van Persie. It is about our team doing well," said Van Persie via FIFA.COM. “I love a big tournament, but I don't need to have the limelight."
In their head-to-head history of eight matches, Netherlands has 4 wins, Argentina with 1 and 3 ended up in a draw.
This is their fifth meeting in the World Cup final. The last two happened in 1998 (France) when the Dutch ousted the Argentines, 2-1 in the quarterfinals; then in 2006 (Germany) when they settled for a draw in group play.
Who will join the Germans in the title match? And who will be as depressed as the host in battling for third place? Will it be an all-European final? Or will Argentina play for pride for South America?