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Word Cup Semi-Finals: Netherlands v. Argentina

After the shock of Brazil's 7-1 defeat yesterday we're probably in for a dull nil-nil that goes to penalties. Or it could be more insanity. Here's hoping for the insanity.

Ronald Martinez
SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

Netherlands v. Argentina
Wednesday, July 9th | 9PM BST/4PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule


Nobody expected all that much from the Dutch this time around. A team in transition coming off a woeful performance at the last European Championships, it was easy to imagine them not even making it out of their group. Then they demolished Spain, cruised the group stages, squeaked past Mexico thanks to Arjen Robben's diving skills, and had to go to penalties against Costa Rica. Which is a bit of a downward trajectory. Still, they've gotten the results they need so far—which isn't what most Liverpool fans will have been wanting to see given Louis van Gaal is taking over at Manchester United after the World Cup.

If the Dutch have overachieved, Argentina have underwhelmed despite finding themselves in the semi-final. Outside of an entertainingly open match against Nigeria to end group play, it's been a lot of conservative football and waiting for Lionel Messi to pull out a single moment of magic to get them through. They've yet to win a game by more than a goal, and have won three of five by 1-0 scorelines. It's been effective but, as was the case with fellow South American favourites Brazil, it hasn't won them many fans amongst the neutrals.

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