SAO PAULO – Argentina beat The Netherlands 4-2 on penalty kicks in extra time in their World Cup semifinal, after finishing the regulation 90 minutes locked at 0-0.
A day after Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1, the goals dried up.
The closest either team came to breaking the deadlock Wednesday was Lionel Messi’s free kick in the 20th minute that Jasper Cillessen comfortably saved, and Gonzalo Higuain’s shot into the sidenetting in the 75th.
A match billed as a showdown between dribblers Messi and Arjen Robben turned into a competition for control of the midfield with barely any clear scoring chances. Robben’s best chance was blocked for a corner.
It is the second straight match the Netherlands has gone to extra time after failing to score. Louis van Gaal’s team beat Costa Rica in a quarterfinal penalty shootout.