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Argentina Beat Netherlands in Penalty Shootouts

  • VOA Staff

Argentina's Lionel Messi appeals for a foul during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Argentina and Belgium at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Argentina's Lionel Messi appeals for a foul during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Argentina and Belgium at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalties to book a place in the 2014 World Cup finals with Germany after a goaless 120 minutes of play.

The match was fairly balanced with defenders taking turns to shut out Argentinian danger man, Lionel Messi, and Robin Van Perse of the Netherlands.

The final will be played on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. The Germans thrashed disjointed hosts, Brazil, 7-1 in the semifinals Tuesday. The losers play for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.

Brazil played without captain Thiago Silva and star striker Neymar. Silva was serving an automatic one-game suspension after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament in the quarterfinal game against Colombia. Neymar, who scored four goals in the tournament, was out with a fractured vertebra.

Brazil was hoping for a repeat of its performance in the 1962 World Cup. That year, legendary Brazilian Pele suffered an injury in the second match that prevented him from playing in the rest of the tournament. But Brazil went on to beat Czechoslovakia in the final, 3-1.

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