Argentina hope to overcome Dutch courage

Argentina hope to overcome Dutch courage
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal watches his players with Assistant Manager Patrick Kluivert (left)

by Kalumiana Kalumiana

Wednesday Jul 09, 2014. 09:17

Argentina and The Netherlands clash in Sao Paulo on Wednesday in the second semifinal of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The match will be a repeat of the two sides World Cup final meeting 36 years ago played-out just next door in Argentina that the latter won 3-1 as hosts.

Holland have gone on to pick up one win and a draw in subsequent World Cup meetings against the two-time World Champions.

Argentina are chasing their fifth final appearance while The Netherlands are looking to qualify for their second successive final but but still in search of their first triumph after coming off second best on three occasions.

The South Americans head into the last four unbeaten with five straight wins scoring seven goals as they move within touching distance their first final since 1990.

Four of those goals were scored by their top scorer and talisman Lionel Messi who has literally carried Argentina on his shoulders to the penultimate stage.

"Argentina are a world-class team," Dutch winger Dirk Kuyt said, "and they deserve to be in the last four. But we want to measure ourselves against the best, and not only measure - but win. That's why we're here. The semi-finals are fantastic but we know what it feels like to lose a World Cup, and we would love to win [the Trophy]. That's our goal."

However, Argentina will be without key midfielder Angel di Maria who sustained in an injury in their 1-0 quarterfinal win over Belgium on July 5.

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has no major worries although midfielders Leroy Fer and Nigel de Jong are sidelined with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.

And Van Gaal said there will be no major changes to his lineups that beat Costa Rica 4-3 on post  match penalties after their scoreless extra-time draw that saw him introduce goalkeeper Tim Krul for first choice Jasper Cillessen just seconds before the dramatic shootout.

Krul saved two penalties to hand The Netherlands their semifinal passage.

"There is no question about who will start next game, it will be Cillessen,” Van Gaal said.

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