World Cup 2014 final - Germany vs Argentina: Five reasons Argentina reached the World Cup final

Argentina arrive via luck, nous and timely heroes

Argentina are into the World Cup final against Germany. We take a look at the key moments on their way to the Maracana.

LIVE: Germany vs Argentina latest

1. Last-minute miss

The last-minute miss in extra-time by Switzerland substitute Blerim Dzemaili in the second round match in São Paulo. With his team trailing 1-0, the Swiss defender’s header canoned off the post and he then sent the rebound wide when faced with an empty net.  The match would almost certainly have gone to penalties if he had scored and then who know what would have happened.

Switzerland’s Blerim Dzemaili heads against the Argentina post in the last few seconds of their match Switzerland’s Blerim Dzemaili heads against the Argentina post in the last few seconds of their match  

2. Messi’s magic

Lionel Messi’s last-minute, 25-yard goal against Iran which earned his team a 1-0 win . Argentina were close to being held to an embarrassing draw in Belo Horizonte, with Iran outplaying them for large parts of the match and missing two glorious chances to win when Messi conjured up a piece of timely magic. Argentina’s victory secured their qualification from the group stages.

A view of Messi's goal against Iran A view of Messi's goal against Iran  

3. Sabella’s tactics

Manager Alex Sabella’s decision to make two key changes for the quarter-final match against Belgium, dropping centre-half Frederico Fernandez for Martin Dimechellis, and midfielder Fernando Gago for Lucas Biglio. The changes added extra strength and balance to the team, making them even harder to beat.

 

4. Romero comes good

Sergio Romero’s penalty saves from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder secured Argentina’s place in the World Cup final. The much-derided goalkeeper had, previously been described as the team’s weak link. His first save in particular gave Argentina a huge psyhological advantage in the shoot-out.

Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty  

5. Cool venues

The World Cup draw has been kind to Argentina, ensuring they played no matches in the hot and humid cities of northern Brazil. All their games have taken place in the more temperate cities in the middle or south, which are relatively closer to their country, ensuring Argentinians have attended in large numbers.

Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition