Sunday, March 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dribblers Messi and Robben face off in World Cup semifinal

CORRECTION Brazil Soccer WCup Argentina Belgium

CORRECTS PHOTOGRAPHER'S BYLINE - Argentina's Lionel Messi and teammates celebrate at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Argentina and Belgium at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014. Argentina won 1-0. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

By
July 09, 2014 |

RIO DE JANEIRO — The World Cup’s best dribblers — Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben — face off when Argentina and Netherlands meet in the semifinals.

In Brazil, Robben has been quick, Messi has been quicksilver.

On Wednesday in Sao Paulo, either one could turn the semifinal with a dazzling turn of pace or a weaving run to propel his team to the final.

“We have to cut the supply line to Messi,” Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi told Dutch website Nu.nl.

The Barcelona star led Argentina through the group stage with four goals. He has also made 180 passes in his five matches so far.

The Dutch have shared the goal-scoring duties more evenly — Robben and Robin van Persie each have three, Memphis Depay has two of the team’s total of 12 — but the Bayern Munich winger’s scintillating sprints with the ball have often been the highlights of Oranje matches.

“We know that we will play against one of the best teams when it comes to counterattacks because of the speed of their men up front,” Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. “So we have to take precautions to not give them the possibility to counterattack, to always be well positioned, to not lose balls unnecessarily in areas where there’s a lot of risk.”

After scoring 10 times in group play, the Netherlands has managed only two in its two knock-out matches and the Dutch will be hoping captain Van Persie regains his touch in front of goal. He looked off the pace and missed an easy chance near the end of regulation time in the quarterfinal against Costa Rica.

The Netherlands will again be without their powerful midfield controller Nigel de Jong, who has a torn groin muscle. A possible replacement, Leroy Fer, is recovering from a hamstring injury and it is not clear if he will be fit for Wednesday’s semifinal at the Itaquerao Stadium.

Argentina will be without Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, who limped off in the first half of his country’s quarterfinal win over Belgium with a right thigh injury, but striker Sergio Aguero has been declared fit after recovering from a similar problem.

Di Maria scored the extra-time winner against Switzerland in the second round and set up Gonzalo Higuain’s winning goal in the first half against Belgium on Saturday.

“He’s a good player, but we look at the whole team, not one player,” Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen said. “We’re going to watch … how Argentina plays. We’re going to make our plan to beat Argentina.”

Whether that plan again could involve Cillessen being substituted a minute before a penalty shootout and replaced with the more physically imposing Tim Krul — as happened against Costa Rica — remains to be seen.

The move by tactical mastermind Louis van Gaal was the World Cup’s most surprising substitution and one of its most effective as Krul stopped two penalties.

“We are ready for everything,” Krul said. “Hopefully, we don’t need it against Argentina and we can do the job in 90 minutes.”

The two sides have a long World Cup history, including one of the Netherlands’ most heart-breaking losses, in the 1978 final when Rob Rensenbrink’s shot hit the post shortly before full time with the scores level at 1-1. Argentina went on to win 3-1 in extra time.

In 1998, the Dutch led by Guus Hiddink got a measure of revenge when Dennis Bergkamp’s memorable goal knocked Argentina out in the quarterfinals in France.

Cillessen said beating Argentina in Sao Paulo would only be a step on the way to making amends for the 1978 final — one of three the Netherlands has lost, earning the Dutch the title of the best team never to win the World Cup.

“It would be revenge if we win the World Cup,” Cillessen said. “But we have to wait for that. It’s not a final. It’s a semi.”

 

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

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    School bands compete in Pageantry on Parade

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Peace and patience: Quilters gear up for show

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
     
    Conservancy plans next Quail Ridge Reserve walk

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Police seek suspect in armed robbery

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

    4-H Presentation Day brings fun, education to Fairfield

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

    By Christine Macgenn | From Page: C4

     
    What you eat can affect your medications

    By Marilyn Ranson | From Page: C4

    CAASC 18th Annual Chinese New Year and Scholarship Celebration

    By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Rollover in Suisun City

    By Aaron Rosenblatt | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

    State schedules ramp closure at freeway project site

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

     
    Appointments on tap for Board of Supervisors meet

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

     
    Tri-City NAACP honors community members at gala event

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    NY, SF town house prices through the roof

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

     
    Fairfield police log: Feb. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Feb. 27, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Airmen with local ties finish basic training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    Force draws many from South, middle class

    By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

    .

    US / World

    Christie to Calif. Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    US missionary abducted in Nigeria is courageous, friends say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Dress that ‘greatly resembles’ stolen Nyong’o gown found

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Churches, synagogues, mosques bear tough New England winter

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Hyundai recalls 263,000 cars due to power-steering problem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Details about proposed national monuments in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    National monument supporters in California get antsy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

    US drone strike in Yemen kills 3 suspected al-Qaida fighters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Attacks kill 37 people in and north of Iraq’s capital

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Nemtsov a possible ‘sacrificial victim,’ investigators say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

    .

    Opinion

    Editorial Cartoon: March 1, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for March 1, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

     
    New school funding plan remains on bumpy path

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

    Even Gruber deserves a break sometimes

    By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

     
    I might just vote for a Democrat next time around

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

    Aging Fairfield housing agency faltering

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 1, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    With numbers falling, Houston-area nuns’ future uncertain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Take a look – Dr. Seuss has a new book

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

     
    Publisher launches line of Warhol e-books

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Q&A: Opera star Deborah Voigt writes of turbulent life

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

     
    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

    Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ has realistic plot

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2Comments are off for this post

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Vikings girls looking for first section title

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Local Report: Vaca’s Aquino wins Masters wrestling title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Phegley hopes his style will catch on in Oakland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    A year after meeting Tiger, Indian golfer on the rise

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Jeff Gordon takes a final spin at track that meant so much

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Players’ union head: future spring games in Cuba possible

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Harrington takes 36-hole lead, then more rain in Florida

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Defending champ Federer beats Djokovic to retain Dubai title

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Safarova beats Azarenka to win the Qatar Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Environmental activists disrupt meeting by Olympic officials

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Hamilton hones Mercedes with fastest time at F1 testing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Warriors center Festus Ezeli suspended for a game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Reichelt leads Austrian World Cup downhill sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta for 3rd year in a row

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in suburban Atlanta

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    For many in US, cash saved at gas pump is staying in pockets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Nevada casinos keep $953.7 million in winnings in January

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Historic snows causing headaches for real estate industry

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Boy, 13, builds Braille printer with Legos, starts company

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9Comments are off for this post

     
    Recalls this week: hand trucks, ceiling fans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    Review: Freedom! These smartwatches leave the phone behind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

     
    Greek prime minister rules out third bailout

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    AP Exclusive: Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    John W. Van Wart

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Virgil Albert Hanson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Thomas Browning

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Leah E. Hoffman

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics