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

Argentina arrive via luck, nous and timely heroes

Vivek Chaudhary
Monday 14 July 2014 01:58
Comments
Argentina celebrate their World Cup semi-final penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands
Argentina celebrate their World Cup semi-final penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands

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

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

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

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

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in