World Cup 2014 LIVE: All the action from Day 26 after Argentina's penalty victory over the Netherlands - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014 LIVE: All the action from Day 26 after Argentina's penalty victory over the Netherlands

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage on day 26 of the Fifa World Cup. Samuel Stevens and Marc Williams brought you all the action from Argentina's penalty shoot-out victory over the Netherlands to set up a final with Germany... 


    • Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (et) FT - Argentina win 4-2 on penalties 
    • Argentina go through to final with Germany after penalty victory
    • Netherlands to play Brazil in the third place play-off
    • Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder miss penalties for the Dutch
    • Goalless 120 minutes in Sao Paulo
    7/9/2014 10:29:05 AM

  • Good morning folks! If you needed more proof that last night really happened then one cursory glance on Twitter this morning must surely have confirmed it. 

    Whether it's Photoshopped images of Angela Merkel replacing Christ the Redeemer on the Rio skyline or David Luiz being subjected to yet more ridicule, the internet is best to be avoiding if you have any Brazilian ties.

    For those of you who can stomach more coverage of the samba nation's downfall, we'll bring you all of the best reaction to Germany's stunning demolition of the hosts as they scored four goals in just 400 first-half seconds on their way to a 7-1 mauling in Belo Horizonte.

    As the embers cool on last night's devastation, we'll eventually turn our focus to tonight's second semi-final between Netherlands and Argentina. We promise!

    There's still much more juice to squeeze from last night's action, however, so pull up a chair and sit back as we try and digest one of the most shocking nights in World Cup history.

    This summer's tournament just keeps on giving!
    7/9/2014 11:02:17 AM

  • Tears, tantrums and breakdowns - we've seen it all in the last fifteen hours or so. As one of the world's greatest footballing superpowers slumped to their deepest low, the entire Brazilian nation had their emotions etched across television screens around the globe.

    7/9/2014 11:18:21 AM
  • After becoming the most tweeted about sporting event in history, the social media sphere hasn't exactly been sympathetic towards Brazil of late.

    We doubt the South American country's tourist board will be using this in their poster campaigns over the coming months...

    Perhaps they'll try designing a new flag instead.

    David Luiz, on the other hand, has more important things to worry about.

    But there's no way out of this mess.

    Fred didn't fare too well either...

    Come on, fella, just put it down. 

    Because there's never been a better opportunity for a football selfie.

    And, finally, let's look at the good old fashioned newspapers. No translation is needed.

    7/9/2014 11:45:07 AM

  • Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has branded last night's 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany as the worst in their history.

    Sam Wallace was on hand as the former Chelsea manager, who lifted the cup in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, admitted sole responsibility for Brazil's crushing submission to Joachim Low's side.

    The coach refused to discuss his future although he said that he would continue to lead the side into Saturday’s third-place play-off against the loser of tonight’s semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands. 

    I think it's probably the worst moment. I've lost other matches. When you lose 4-0 or 5-0, it's basically the same thing. Naturally, if I were to think of my life as a player, as a coach, as a teacher, this was the worst day of my life. 

    But life goes on. I'll be remembered probably because I lost 7-1, the worst defeat Brazil have ever had, but that was a risk I knew I was running when I accepted this position. Life goes on. That's what I'll do.
    7/9/2014 12:16:21 PM

  • Joachim Low, the Germany head coach, has revealed there was 'no euphoria' in the dressing room as they progressed to the World Cup final after inflicting on Brazil the biggest defeat in their history.

    Low, who was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann when Germany lost to Italy in extra-time of the semi-final on home turf in 2006, can sympathise with Luiz Felipe Scolari but is looking ahead to Sunday's final in Rio.

    Nobody should feel invincible. Both teams (Netherlands and Argentina) have been excellent so far and have magnificent players. Messi, Higuain and others are terrific. Van Persie and Robben can decide any match. It can't be like this semi. The opponent will be different.

    Now it's important we recover and we are able to regenerate our momentum. It is important we remain calm. The team is perfectly rooted and calm. There is no euphoria. This team is ready to deliver. The final will be difficult but we want to win the final and will retain our concentration.
    7/9/2014 12:49:19 PM
  • Who was best for Germany? 

    Miroslav Klose scored a record-setting 16th career World Cup goal in a five-goal spurt in the first half as Brazil's defense was torn apart. 

    Brazil were, of course, playing without the injured Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva but their replacements had a decidedly poor evening.

    Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle scored two goals each for Germany, while Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira added the others. 

    But did any of Brazil's players emerge with any credit? How did they do in The Independent's player ratings?
    7/9/2014 1:30:33 PM

  • Robin van Persie is a major doubt for the Netherlands ahead of tonight's World Cup semi-final against Argentina after suffering from stomach problems.

    The Manchester United striker was seen intensely discussing the situation during training with Louis van Gaal, who instructed him to prepare away from the squad, but the manager remains hopeful the 30-year-old will play.

    Well, he had some stomach problems, some intestinal problems, so it is better not to train as it would get worse. Van Persie is our captain so, in that capacity alone, he is very important. 

    In principle, my captain will always play but they have to be in good shape. He only has stomach problems and some plasters on his leg, as he always does.
    7/9/2014 2:07:33 PM
  • Rafa Benitez World Cup column sneak peak: Never mind Neymar – Argentina will feel loss of free-running Angel Di Maria against Netherlands

    Everyone has been talking about Neymar in the last three days but Argentina losing Angel Di Maria has consequences which could be just as serious – maybe we can say more serious – than Brazil losing their talisman. I’m talking about options.

    We have seen Alejandro Sabella, the Argentina manager, being very flexible with his tactics in the tournament. He started with a line of five in midfield in the first half of the first game against Bosnia. Then he went to 4-3-1-2, then 4-2-3-1, with Lionel Messi behind Gonzalo Higuain, my striker at Napoli, Di Maria on the right and Ezequiel Lavezzi the left – giving width. Di Maria was really good in the one-on-one situations and, when he was moving forward, Messi could be more free.
    7/9/2014 2:33:35 PM
  • Argentina's World Cup so far in pictures...

    Lionel Messi came to the rescue for Argentina, just like he always has, as his side laboured to a 2-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first World Cup game of the summer.

    There's already a bit of a trend forming as, on the stroke of 90 minutes against Iran, Lionel Messi pops up with a superb winner to ease any doubts about his country's credentials.

    Argentina seal qualification from Group F courtesy of their third win out of three. Two goals from Lionel Messi, alongside Marcos Rojo's 50th minute strike, see off a plucky Nigeria side.

    Switzerland stand in the way of Alejandro Sabella's men and the quarter-finals but a goal from Angel Di Maria sees the South American side through. Coming after 118 minutes, however, worries over Argentina's prospects continue.

    Messi and Co. are handed their biggest challenge yet in the form of dark horses Belgium. Marc Wilmots' side, though, present few problems and Gonzalo Higuain's goal ultimately proves to be enough to seal a place in the last four.
    7/9/2014 3:20:46 PM

  • 7/9/2014 3:45:41 PM
  • The Netherlands' World Cup so far in pictures...

    The Netherlands squad were considered as underdogs ahead of their opening clash with world and European champions Spain. What ensued, however, was the first of many shocks this summer. After Robin van Persie's stunning header, the Dutch never looked back.

    The Netherlands secured a last-16 place in the 2014 World Cup as Memphis Depay gave them victory over Australia, who were knocked out of the tournament despite Tim Cahill's wonder goal.

    Louis van Gaal's men finished top of Group B after goals from Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay gave them a win over Chile in a tempestuous encounter in Sao Paulo.

    The Netherlands produced a stunning late comeback to rescue their World Cup dream and deny Mexico a first quarter-final in 28 years - despite Arjen Robben being subjected to yet more accusations of diving in the latter stages.

    Goalkeeper Tim Krul came off the bench in astonishing circumstances late in extra time and saved two penalties as Louis van Gaal's side beat Costa Rica in a penalty shootout to set up a World Cup semi-final against Argentina.
    The Manchester United manager rightfully took the plaudits.
    7/9/2014 4:08:55 PM
  • With just under three hours to go until kick-off in tonight's semi-final between Netherlands and Argentina, we're just about at the thumb twiddling stage. The match is within touching distance but just agonisingly out of reach.

    Covering everything from Robin van Persie's injury scare to Argentina's reliance on Lionel Messi, as well as a look back at classic encounters, it has everything you need in order to be clued up ahead of tonight's action.
    7/9/2014 5:06:04 PM
  • Pre-match training in pictures...

    Lionel Messi, whom many believe has carried Argentina to the semi-final stages, looked relaxed last night ahead of the crunch tie with Netherlands.

    His manager Alejandro Sabella, on the other hand, was giving Roy Hodgson a run for his money in the fashion stakes.

    In the Dutch camp, much attention will be on Arjen Robben after the diving scandal against Mexico in the round of sixteen.

    Louis van Gaal, however, has bigger problems on his hands with Robin van Persie looking likely to miss tonight's clash. The Manchester United pair were spotted having a prolonged conversation during training yesterday.
    7/9/2014 5:19:41 PM
  • It will soon be time to hand over to my colleague Marc Williams who will be with you right through tonight's huge semi-final clash between the Netherlands and Argentina. Before I do, here's a summary of what's happened so far this afternoon...

    7/9/2014 5:48:54 PM
  • I'll leave you with this, ladies and gentlemen. 

    Over to you, Marc! Build up to tonight's semi-final in Sao Paulo still to come.

    Sound of Silence
    by Joe Bell via YouTube
    7/9/2014 5:56:11 PM
  • Evening all! I'm Marc Williams and I'm here to take through the build-up, team news and all the action from our second semi-final from the 2014 World Cup, Netherlands v Argentina.

    My thanks to Sam Stevens for taking us through today's biggest talking points and now it's time to turn our attentions to the big game. Kick-off is coming up at 9pm sharp!

    How do we follow an evening like yesterday's? Brazil 1 Germany 7, not much else needs to be said really, does it?

    This World Cup as truly given us a little bit of everything so what will we be treated tonight this evening?

    After tonight, we've only got two games left, so get settled in for good old fashioned footy feast while we still have the time! 

    Plenty to bring you before the Dutch and Argentina do battle, so let's dive right back into the action!

    7/9/2014 6:06:52 PM

  • Rafa has he's say!

    Rafael Benitez is no stranger to us here at the Indy, we love hearing what the ex-Liverpool boss has to say!

    Ahead of tonight's semi-final showdown, Benitez reckons that the loss of Argentina's Angel di Maria could be even worse than Brazil being without Neymar!

    If that is the case we could be on for another cricket score judging by the way that Brazil coped (or should that be couldn't cope whatsoever) without their talisman.

    Read what the Napoli boss had to say.

    They have a very tough job now that we are into the last week of the tournament. Everyone has been talking about Neymar in the last three days but Argentina losing Angel Di Maria has consequences which could be just as serious – maybe we can say more serious – than Brazil losing their talisman.

    7/9/2014 6:15:14 PM

  • No RVP?

    It would be a crying shame if tonight's semi-final was robbed of one it's best players, Robin van Persie. 

    Last night suffered greatly by the lack of Neymar and RVP is a major doubt for the Dutch.

    We'll have all the team news for you as soon as it is announced! 

    Well, he had some stomach problems, some intestinal problems, so it is better not to train as it would get worse.

    Van Persie is our captain so, in that capacity alone, he is very important.
    In principle, my captain will always play but they have to be in good shape. He only has stomach problems and some plasters on his leg, as he always does.
    7/9/2014 6:22:34 PM
  • We're about an hour and half away from kick-off in Sao Paulo, seems like the perfect amount of time for a little match preview!

    Kostas Lianos provides us with this one, so go get clued up with the facts, stats and what not about this belter of a game!

    7/9/2014 6:29:21 PM
  • Five things!

    It can be tough as a neutral and trying to pick who you want to win a big game! 

    Netherlands v Argentina has all the makings of a classic but who will you be rooting for?

    Here at the Indy we have come up with five reasons why each time can believe that they will claim victory tonight. Go find out what both have on offer and make a decision! 

    Kostas Lianos has provided us with this little lot so how about Argentina first? They can call upon Messi, their striking trio, victory on enemy turf, the climate and the referee to have on their side.

    While the Netherlands have got Van Gaal, key players in form, no Di Maria, momentum and that they are European going for them!

    7/9/2014 6:40:54 PM
  • Team news: Roll up, roll up, come and get your semi-final starting XIs!

    Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Kuyt, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie

    Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo, Biglia, Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Lavezzi, Messi, Higuain

    7/9/2014 6:52:14 PM
  • Team news: So RVP has overcome his stomach bug to start for the Dutch, that is a huge boost for Van Gaal and his side! 

    Nigel De Jong also starts for Holland while Wijnaldum remains. 

    For Argentina, there is no place Manchester City's Sergio Aguero with Enzo Perez coming in. Rojo returns after his suspension.

    Check out our preview for tonight's game here and don't forget to get in touch throughout the action by just hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above! 
    7/9/2014 7:05:43 PM

  • From Yorkshire to the World Cup!

    Argentina's boss Alejandro Sabella has had one heck of a football journey!

    There aren't many in the game that have gone from Sheffield United to the World Cup final (sorry Blade's fans) but that is exactly what Sabella has the chance to do.

    The 59-year-old will send his troops into battle with Holland in Sao Paulo on Wednesday evening with the biggest prize in football firmly in his sights.

    It is perhaps not something he might have envisaged the day he wrapped himself around a radiator at half-time at Hartlepool's then Victoria Road home and refused to subject himself to the icy blast of a north-east winter.

    7/9/2014 7:14:06 PM
  • The fans are gearing up nicely over in Sao Paulo, loving the Zimbabwe flag, you don't see that at every World Cup! 

    7/9/2014 7:21:43 PM

  • Rough up Robben!

    Arjen Robben could be in for a tough night after Martin Demichelis declared that his Argentina defence will not hesitate to rough up the Bayern Munich winger tonight!

    The Manchester City man put in a top game against Belgium in the quarter-final and will need to be at his best again to stop Robben, Van Persie and the rest. 

    We're just half an hour away from kick-off in Sao Paulo. 

    Because he doesn’t like physical contact, you have to make him feel it. You have to get under his skin.

    We have to be aggressive, to make the Dutch feel the passion of the Argentine player, especially to Robben.

    7/9/2014 7:30:36 PM
  • Winners and losers?

    The new technology worked, Costa Rica shocked some big names and even the TV pundits made sense, yet England will look back on the past month with little joy and as for Brazil...

    Which one of these two greats will be the victor tonight and who will have to head home?

    Lionel Messi and Robin van Persie in training:

    7/9/2014 7:36:04 PM
  • Where's this one going then? Here's some helpful little stats from Twitter to help you make your mind up! 

    7/9/2014 7:39:20 PM
  • Team news: A quick recap of the starting line-ups for tonight's huge game! 

    Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Kuyt, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie

    Argentina: Romero, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo, Biglia, Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Lavezzi, Messi, Higuain

    Read the in-depth team news here! Kick-off is just minutes away, you ready??

    7/9/2014 7:47:53 PM
  • Argentina will be remembering the great Alfredo di Stefano tonight!

    7/9/2014 7:52:51 PM
  • It's that time again! The players are making their way out of the tunnel, National Anthems up next! 

    Our referee this evening is Turkey's Cuneyt Cakir and we have around 62,000 fans inside the Arena Corinthians!

    7/9/2014 7:57:31 PM
  • 0 min: Argentina, in their classic sky blue and white, get us going here. Netherlands all in orange. Game on! 

    7/9/2014 8:01:37 PM
  • 7/9/2014 8:02:22 PM
  • 2 min: Thanks for voting in our poll today and you lot reckon the Dutch are going to take this one with 63% saying they will join Germany in the final! Deafening noise swirling around Sao Paulo's stadium in the early stages and it's a lively start on the pitch too. 
    7/9/2014 8:04:12 PM
  • 6 min: First half chance of the game falls to the Netherlands but the linesman's flag stops Arjen Robben in his tracks. The Bayern Munich man did find space behind Ezequiel Garay there though, something to keep an eye on...
    7/9/2014 8:08:19 PM
  • 10 min: Stephan De Vrij bundles over Ezequiel Lavezzi for a cheap free-kick to Argentina. They swing it into the box but it comes to nothing. Not much on the old stat board so far, no shots on or off target, no corners and just that one foul. This game has some boiling to do!
    7/9/2014 8:13:33 PM

  • All the big names are here this evening!
    7/9/2014 8:14:19 PM
  • 14 min: Wesley Sneijder has the game's first effort but his shot goes well wide of Sergio Romero's upright. Argentina spring forward down the other end and Ron Vlaar has to commit the foul with a dangerous attack building. The little genius, Lionel Messi, steps up to take the free-kick but it's straight into Cillessen's arms. Two shots in the space of two minutes, this game is coming to the boil...
    7/9/2014 8:17:33 PM
  • Some pictures from the action so far! 

    7/9/2014 8:20:49 PM
  • 20 min: You'd have to say that Argentina are just shading this one at the moment and they win their second corner in quick succession. Robin van Persie is on hand to complete his defensive duties and heads clear. 

    7/9/2014 8:23:28 PM
  • 24 min: Chance for Argentina. It's so nearly third time lucky for Argentina as they go close with their third corner of the last couple of minutes. Ezequiel Lavezzi crosses in and his namesake E. Garay can't keep his header on target. The biggest chance of the game so far! 
    7/9/2014 8:26:37 PM
  • 26 min: We've got a break in play here after Javier Mascherano receives a nasty looking bump on the head and he is down and out. The stretcher is on the pitch and it doesn't look good one bit. He is a touch cookie though. 

    7/9/2014 8:29:37 PM
  • 29 min: Well Mascherano has returned, he is a hard nut, let's hope he's all ok! 

    To think, Germany were 5-0 up at this point yesterday... 
    7/9/2014 8:30:59 PM
  • 32 min: Arjen Robben gets on his bike for the first real time tonight and he skins Martin Demichelis to win a corner. Sergio Romero does well with the set-piece and the rebound, punching both clear. From the second rebound, RVP is called offside. The Man United man was bundled over in the box there though, Argentina get away with one! 
    7/9/2014 8:34:21 PM
  • 36 min: Argentina create another opening down the left-hand side. Ezequiel Lavezzi, who does look a threat this evening, hits the byline and pulls back a cross to Gonzalo Higuain in the center. Ron 'Concrete' Vlaar is on hand to clear with a fine tackle. 
    7/9/2014 8:38:48 PM
  • 41 min: Five minutes to go in this first half of the second semi-final, not much to pick between the two sides! 

    7/9/2014 8:42:22 PM
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