Unlikely Star Lifts Argentina to Victory

'Weak link' goalie Sergio Romero makes 2 saves against Netherlands in shootout
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2014 7:00 PM CDT
Unlikely Star Lifts Argentina to Victory
Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder watches as Argentina players celebrate.   (Manu Fernandez)

Attention, Brazil: This is how a World Cup semifinal is supposed to go: a close game between two evenly matched teams that requires penalty kicks to decide the winner. In this case, Argentina emerged the victor over the Netherlands, as goalie Sergio Romero made two saves in the shootout. Regulation had ended in a 0-0 tie, a day after Germany lit up the World Cup with its clinical 7-1 destruction of host Brazil. The win means Argentina will face Germany in Sunday's final.

Romero—thought to be a weak link in this Argentine team and not even a starter for his Monaco club most of last season—blocked penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. For Argentina, Lionel Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero, and Maxi Rodriguez all converted their spot kicks. "It's luck, that's the truth," said Romero. "You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper. Click to read about just how historically bad Brazil's loss was, or about the Mick Jagger jinx. (More 2014 World Cup stories.)

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