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The joy and despair of the penalty shoot-out....


by Gaza Blog

Contrasting emotions emerge from a penalty shoot-out. There is one winner. There is one loser. This time Netherlands lost out, while Argentina march on to Rio on Sunday with the World Cup at stake. 

They scarcely deserved it based on their performance against the Dutch, but then again the Dutch didn't do enough either. The tactics dominated the game, neither team wanted to lose. This is understandable, even though it makes for dreadful viewing. 

The entertainment was saved for the shoot-out then, and it was Romero the Argentinian goalkeeper that was the hero, just as Tim Krul was in the quarter final. All of the penalties taken were of decent quality, and I believe that it comes down to luck that the keeper makes a save more often than not. On this occasion, Romero saved two, whereas Cillesen couldn't save one. The cruel fate of a knock-out tournament meant that it had to be so. 

I don't really have anything to reflect on from the match itself. Both sides were poor, lacking creativity especially, but it was always going to be that way after the Germans' six goal trouncing of Brazil the night before. Argentina march on to the final against Germany at the famous Maracana. One can only hope the standard of football witnessed on Sunday is worthy of the occasion upon which it is played, because this game certainly can't put it's hand up for that. I'm torn over who I'd like to see lift the World Cup, but right now I'm leaning towards wanting to see Messi become the undisputed best player in the world with the World Cup in his hands on Sunday night.