Argentina progressed into the World Cup final for the first time in 24 years after beating Netherlands on penalties.
The South American outfit emerged 4-2 victorious via from the shootout in the aftermath of a dull, goalless draw after 120 minutes at the Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo. The Albiceleste goalkeeper Sergio Romero kept out Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder's efforts from 12 yards to ensure Louis van Gaal's side had to settle for third or fourth place this year.
The incoming Manchester United manager was hailed in the quarter-final clash against Costa Rica for bringing on Tim Krul right at the end for first-choice shot-stopper, Jasper Cillessen. The Newcastle United star saved two penalties to ensure the Dutchmen's place in last four.
However, the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss couldn'trepeat his tactics, having already used all his substitutes, which probably backfired against Alejandro Sabella's side. There was criticism for van Gaal as well about the cautious nature of the match, coupled with the scrutiny of United fans waiting for the 62-year-old to fly to England take up the reins at Old Trafford.
Argentina will now face Germany for the crown at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday.
Some Twitter reactions:
The mood in Argentina right now:
Argentina right now https://t.co/rtNvulWvzL
— It's So Relatable! (@itzsorelatable) July 9, 2014
Ping pong as a metaphorical representation of the second semi-final:
Criticism over van Gaal's decision to send Vlaar for the first penalty:
Van Gaal hailed as a genius for bringing on Krul in QF but he messed up badly sending up Vlaar first in shootout. Put Dutch on back foot.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 9, 2014
Gabriele Marcotti on van Gaal's loathing for third place clash.
Van Gaal hates the 3rd place playoff as much as I do. Maybe even more. — Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) July 9, 2014
Netherlands have only scored two goals in the knockout stages and have failed to break the deadlock for four hours.
You cannot score no goals for FOUR hours and expect to be in a World Cup final, Mr Van Gaal.
— Nimish Dubey (@nimishdubey) July 9, 2014
Van Gaal's defensive tactics against Argentina:
— FootballFanCast.com (@FootballFanCast) July 9, 2014
United fans on van Gaal:
Van Gaal please report at Old Trafford tomorrow thanks — Muttons On the Move (@muttons) July 9, 2014
Gary Linekar's opinion on who will win the final:
These 2 sides could both play in the final and Germany would beat them.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 9, 2014