Argentina has itself another hero at the 2014 World Cup: Goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
With Romero making two key saves, Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo on Wednesday to book the second spot in the World Cup final. The 27-year-old goalkeeper denied the Netherlands' first penalty shot, diving to his left to block the low effort of Dutch defender Ron Vlaar. For his second save of the shootout, Romero lunged far to his right to turn away a strong effort from Wesley Sneijder.
"It's luck, that's the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper," Romero said after his heroics sent Argentina into the World Cup final against Germany, via The Associated Press. "I had confidence, thank God things turned out well."
Lionel Messi, unable to conjure any magic during regulation play or extra time, calmly converted Argentina's first attempt from the penalty spot. Veteran reserve Maxi Rodriguez converted Argentina's fourth attempt to seal its place in the final. In between Messi and Maxi, Ezequiel Garay and Sergio Aguero made their kicks for Argentina as well.
One day after Germany racked up an astounding seven goals against Brazil in the first semifinal, the Netherlands and Argentina played 120 scoreless minutes before heading to penalties. In a tactical matchup in which each side negated its opponents' attacking threats, the big name stars failed create many clear-cut scoring chances from open play. It was just the fifth time that a World Cup semifinal went to penalties.
Argentina will face Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup on Sunday, July 13 at Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. This will be the third time that these countries have met in a final. In 1990, West Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in Rome. In 1986, Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 in Mexico City.