Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Argentina reaches World Cup final after penalties

Sergio Romero

Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero celebrates after he saved shot by Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder from the spot during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

By
From page B1 | July 10, 2014 |

SAO PAULO — The World Cup’s second semifinal was supposed to put the silky skills of Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in the spotlight. Instead, a goalkeeper and two rock-solid defenses stole the show.

Argentina goalie Sergio Romero saved two penalties Wednesday to send Argentina into the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after tough defending and a lack of creative spark from either team consigned the match to a 0-0 stalemate.

In a twist of fate, Romero credited Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal with helping launch his career when he arrived as an inexperienced youngster at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league.

“I will be forever grateful to the coach for helping me out in a country that is so different from ours,” Romero said.

A day after Germany lit up the World Cup with its clinical 7-1 destruction of host Brazil, the Dutch and Argentines could not manage a goal between them in 120 minutes before the shootout.

Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, will have to do play far better in Sunday’s final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium if he is to engineer a win over the powerful German team. The Barcelona star was muted throughout the match and extra time, rarely managing to shake off his markers.

At the Itaquerao Stadium, he was overshadowed by his goalkeeper and the man he replaced as Argentina captain, Javier Mascherano, who bossed the midfield for his team the way surprise starter Nigel de Jong did for the Dutch.

When Robben looked like deciding the match in stoppage time, Mascherano’s perfectly timed sliding tackle blocked his shot at the near post.

“I would say that he is an outstanding player,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. “He is an emblem within our national squad, on the field as well as off it.”

Romero — thought to be a weak link for Argentina and not even a starter for his Monaco club most of last season — had almost nothing to do during the match, but blocked penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the shootout. For Argentina, Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez all converted their spot kicks.

“It’s luck, that’s the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper,” Romero said. “I had confidence, thank God things turned out well.”

A Germany-Argentina final means an extra bitter end to the tournament for Brazilians, who will have to watch their fiercest rivals play for the world title in their most hallowed stadium against a team that humiliated their nation in the semifinals.

“We have a final to play, but with one day less rest and against Germany,” Sabella said. “We’ll do everything possible to make it all the way to the top.”

It was the second straight penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw for the Dutch. Against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals, Van Gaal brought on substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul in the last seconds of extra time to replace Jasper Cillessen and Krul saved two spot kicks.

This time, Van Gaal had used up all three substitutions by the end of extra time and Cillessen had to face the shootout.

The young Ajax goalkeeper collapsed onto his knees and sank onto his back when Rodriguez’s powerful strike ended the shootout. Krul walked across the pitch to console him.

Van Gaal also said he had a hand in Romero’s heroics from their time together at AZ Alkmaar.

“Penalties are always a matter of luck,” he said. “And I taught Romero how to stop penalties so that hurts.”

Many of Argentina’s players stripped off their shirts in the rain at the Itaquerao Stadium and danced in front of their fans.

Argentina reached its fifth final, and its first in 24 years. It won the title in 1978 — beating the Dutch — and in 1986. It lost the championship matches in 1930 and 1990. It played West Germany in both the ’86 and ’90 finals.

The Netherlands, which has never won the World Cup, was seeking to reach its fourth final.

After scoring 10 goals in three group matches, the Dutch scoring dried up in the knockout rounds. The team managed two late strikes against Mexico but failed to find the net before eliminating Costa Rica in the quarterfinal shootout.

“The issue in a championship like this one is that you score one more goal than your opponent, which we didn’t do,” Van Gaal said, “We didn’t create very much.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics