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Your Running Commentary

Netherlands vs. Argentina: Your Running Commentary

ArjenRobbenNetherlands1-CostaRicaWorldCup2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Two teams who have relied on individual moments of brilliance to survive and advance finally meet in the World Cup semifinals in Sao Paulo.

Argentina take on the Netherlands (4 p.m. ESPN) in a re-match of the 1978 World Cup final, with both teams battling for the right to take on Germany on Sunday at the Maracana. The Netherlands’ Arjen Robben and Argentina’s Lionel Messi have nearly single-handedly carried their teams in this tournament but they’ll need some help defensively for this game to avoid becoming a shootout.

Despite some worries over his fitness, Robin Van Persie has been named in the Dutch starting lineup. Enzo Perez has taken the injured Angel Di Maria’s place in the Argentina starting XI.

The match happens to take place on Argentine Independence Day, which could give the Albiceleste players a boost heading into the match. However, if we are to learn anything from last night’s Brazil thrashing, it’s that too much emotion can lead to a loss of focus.

It will be tough to top Tuesday’s 7-1 result, but Argentina and the Netherlands could certainly produce plenty of highlights of their own.

If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

54 comments
    • quozzel

      Germany is going to prison-snuggle Argentina.

      A day less rest than the Germans, and coming off overtime, with oldest team in the World Cup?

      We already saw what playing the Germans a day light on rest is like, and Argentina is even worse-equipped to handle it than we were.

      Like

      • Fish

        People keep underestimating Argentina. They said we would get “raped” by Holland. I wonder how it’s gonna turn out this time.

        Like

  • MikeG

    Mexico with a 5-3-2 worked very well. Holland using 5-3-2. Holland wants to make Messi’s game ineffective as a primary defense, but also the entire midfield as much as possible. With this approach Holland will possess and counter when they can going back the other way. Holland should look like the way the USA could play on there best day. Argentina is disciplined well similar to Germany. Both teams will get into the penalty area as much as possible guaranteed. It’s a heavy weight fight today.

    Like

    • beachbum

      5 3 2 also the formation of Costa Rica, though they all seem to use it a bit differently

      Like

      • MikeG

        You would think it is a more defensive formation, but it looks like a balanced formation on paper. The players and coaches will make different variations. I’d like to see an attacking version of this formation, but then it could only be a matter of attacking players making up the 3-2.

        Like

      • beachbum

        I agree. the attacking part of it comes in creating turnovers in midfield and stranding as many of the oppositions players behind the counter attack as possible, and the wing backs in the back 5 are really offensive players

        Like

  • Stinky Pete

    I don’t even know how to watch a game after Brazil’s debacle yesterday. I am still just stupefied and I was rooting for Germany.

    Like

  • BDWG

    I have a feeling this game is going to have a decidedly different feel to it than yesterday. Still, I’m hoping for an all-Europe final.

    Like

  • BDWG

    What’s the deal with the black armbands on Argentina? Are they paying tribute to fallen Brazil?

    Like

  • Pace

    The way mascherano reacted to that hit to the head was not good. Fifa really has to crack down on concussions.

    Like

    • Brain Guy

      Agree — not quite as outrageous as the Uruguayan defender who was out cold, but still disturbing. Mascherano walked about ten yards and then just kind of keeled over.

      Like

    • Increase

      They really need to make head injury subs mandatory and perhaps allow a 4th sub for both teams if an injury occurs after 3 are already used.

      You might have an issue with fake concussions to get subs but as long as you have medical professional as part of the officiating team making the call rather than a team doctor. You shouldn’t have any issues in the long run. P

      Like

    • beachbum

      Zabaleta got blasted by Kuyt later too, not a head blow but I’d bet a concussion

      Like

  • Benjamin C.

    Maybe neither team wants to win.

    ‘You play Germany!’

    No, I don’t wanna. You play Germany!’

    Like

  • Lava Lamp

    The carrots did not wear down Argentine’s defense. The Dutch will have their hands full the second half (especially with yellow on a defender).. Argentina seems to have the edge ever be it so slight.

    Like

  • blokhin

    the first and second touches are just not good enough for either team to overcome their opponents defensive posture-no one is catching the other team out of position and the free kicks have been so off target they make Bedoya look like Pirlo

    Like

  • Increase

    Aguero seems to want a yellow like Silva got. I can’t figure out why he didn’t get one other than he had only been on the field for like 36 seconds.

    Like

    • Increase

      Gasp!

      Tiki taka was nice when it was new. It also was pretty good when the camera was actually zoomed in enough to see the technique it takes at full speed. Slow motion zoom makes everything look easy and boring.

      Like

    • Increase

      Dunno how Argentina can be quite this bad at scoring.

      But that stadium needs to not being playing Wonder Wall right now. I loath that song.

      Like

      • Dawwilly

        Not having Di Maria is huge. That guy has been massive for Madrid. He doesn’t get enough credit. His width helps take pressure off of Messi. Argentina fought brilliantly through some tough injuries. Mascherano was a beast. Think back to how he and Alonso made some much room for Steven Gerrard to function. Too many people overlook the team components of soccer on this site.

        Like

      • Increase

        I don’t really quite understand why Real are gunna sell him but… Whatever i guess.

        Like

    • frank from santiago

      let me guess if the usa would of made the finals playing their defensive game at all cost, it would be a great final.
      n. american fans are funny, one moment it’s win at all cost no matter how you play (example: chelsea or barca) then it’a a boring game when a certain team does it. which is it?

      Like

      • The Ugly Game

        The American team was not good enough to be boring. Argentina are really good at being boring and no true fan should like it. The final will be bore fest with Argentina winning on penalties without ever looking like scoring, I’d rather watch baseball than that. Heck I’d rather watch cricket than that..

        Ugh…..

        Like

      • frank from santiago

        to you The Ugly Game, not sure if you’ve been watching argentina play. althought they haven’t look great, no one has played them man for man, except nigeria. i’m not sure you understand much about futbol, go back to baseball. it’s ok, segui participando.

        Like

      • Limey

        I’ve been a football fan and coach for over 40 years, so yeah I know a little bit. Argentina are boring they play that negative smuggling style that Italy play and it’s boring, as in not fun to watch when you’re independent and just a fan of the game. Watch the final you’ll learn son.

        Like

      • Chris

        Nobody really played defensively in this game…they just played like crap.

        Big difference.

        Like

      • Scott1

        I think the big difference between Germany and everyone else- Germany has coordinated play in the attacking 3rd. Everyone else passes the ball to the side, then pass backwards, back to the middle, look around, pass to the side again, finally give up and cross the ball. Germany has guys sprinting in every which way and know beforehand where everyone is going. Their players barely lift their head up to see where to pass to, they already know.

        Ask an English soccer fans what tactics there are in the game of basketball and I wouldn’t be surprised if they said “3-1-1” or “2-1-2”. They’re oblivious to the existence of set plays.

        Like

      • ZWorst

        Kind of like you huh

        One moment, it’s “Only Results Matter”

        The next its Paul Terry/Baptista/Fast Eddie/usaallthway/Vlad/El Comandooshbag…. blah blah blah it’s all expat and everyone knows it.

        You’ll never solve the riddle and you’ll never understand… because you aren’t one of us. And we could care less. We have a higher standard. We see no difference at all.

        Like

    • west

      They need to bring Moreno and Palombo back cuz the final’s gonna be a snooze-fest

      Like

  • MikeG

    Argentina will give Germany the biggest fits and put pressure on Germany’s back line. It will be interesting to see how Germany’s back line responds.

    Like

    • beachbum

      and no Hummels too, right? that will test their cohesiveness back there though I suspect they will figure it out

      Like

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