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... 

    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
    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
    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
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