After a simply stunning first semi-final that saw eight goals, Argentina and Netherlands played out a dull, drab clash, which saw the South Americans go through on penalties. Given the embarrassment of attacking riches in both camps, it was surprising to not even see a single goal in over two hours of football. In the end, Sabella and Argentina wont mind as they have gone through to their first World Cup final since 1990.Here are the five talking points.
#1 A tight, tense and tactical affair
Germany’s humiliation of Brazil in the first semi-final heightened many people’s expectations from this game. Although Germany surprised everyone by going all-out attack right from the start, it was unlikely that two sides that were managed by tactically astute managers in Sabella and Van Gaal were going to indulge the fans’ fantasy.
And so it proved, in a game that extended the Netherlands’ scoreless run at the World Cup to 4 hours and Argentina’s to little under three and a half hours. With so much on the line, neither side was willing to cede the initiative and leave gaps at the back. All of which meant that this, for the most part was a game in which neither wanted to attack with all their might. Barring the final few minutes of extra-time, when the game was an open, end-to-end encounter, it was dull, dour, defensive display from both teams.