Netherlands and Argentina will play head-to-head for the second World Cup 2014 Semi Final match on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. After Brazil has fallen to Germany's 7-1win, Argentina is the only hope for the South American nations to capture the World Cup title, while Netherland is also vying for their nation's first historic championship. For either team to reach the Final, they will need to first cross path in the second match of World Cup 2014 Semi Final.
The World Cup semi-final game two will begin at 1 p.m. PST, and will be televised live through ESPN network. The Netherlands vs. Argentina match can be watched online through live stream (free for cable subscribers).
Captain Robin van Persie, who was responsible for three goals in Brazil, was reported to be struggling with an upset stomach that may rule him out of the semi-final. While midfielder De Jong may make a miracle return from a groin injury in the group stage win over Mexico, the Dutch coach Louis van Gaal noted that van Persie's absence can't be compensated even by De Jong's return.
Going into the semi-final, Netherlands just routed Costa Rica with a 4-3 win in penalties. Going into Costa Rica match, van Gaal had exuded a sense of confidence in his team's ability to get through the last-eight clash, which they did. Without getting fazed by the public's speculations, the Manchester United coach reaffirmed the team's objective and goal to become world champions and that they are a team which is "very difficult to beat," according to FIFA.com.
While Netherlands' Captain may or may not be ruled out, the team will still have Arjen Robben and the rest of the team to put up the defensive walls and offensive strikes.
Four years ago, Netherlands fell at the final to Spain in World Cup South Africa, but this time around they have tested their determination as shown by their winning plays against defending World Cup champion Spain with 5-1, Australia 3-2, Chile 2-1, Mexico 2-1, and the most recent Costa Rica 0-0 (4-3 in penalties).
Argentina is coming into the semi-final after having defeated the 'Red Devil' Belgium, but it is not without a cost - striker Angel di Maria is ruled out of the semifinal match against Netherlands with a thigh injury. Besides Lionel Messi, he's been the team's most influential player in the World Cup. Di Maria scored the extra time goal that defeated Switzerland and set up Gonzalo Higuain's winning shot in the first eight minute against Belgium. Argentina's offense is expected to suffer without Di Maria.
Prior to the match against Belgium, former Argentina's World Cup legend Diego Maradona criticized the team's dependence on La Pulga or Messi, warning that if Argentina's offensive lines do not step up to fill their billing and alleviate Messi's burden, they face a grave "catastrophe."
While Belgium's coach Marc Wilmots had tried to capitalize on the opponent's imbalance and pointer in forming strategies, Argentina's offensive lines overturned this trend on Saturday and remained a powerhouse as they advance to the semifinal.
Prior to playing Argentina, Wilmots said that he was more concerned about Argentina's collective strength than the individual gifts of Lionel Messi.
"Argentina have their values and traditions, and their players never gave up," he said. "What they achieved in 1986 was mostly down to Maradona, but with Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Hijuain, Sergio Aguero and Ezequiel Lavezzi around, they've now got five players who can call make the difference."
Messi, who has scored four of Argentina's eight goals, could end the tournament as top scorer, but he said he'd prefer to win the World Cup than the golden boot.
"I am only concentrating on the team. If we concentrate on our own game and we prepare ourselves tactically then our football will do the talking. If I keep scoring goals and that helps the team then that is the most important thing," he said, according to FIFA.com.
Angel Di Maria may be out, but full-back Marcos Rojo returns from suspension, which will give Argentina a solid defensive boost.
If Argentina win Wednesday's match, it will have a final chance to win the third World Cup title. The winner of Netherlands vs. Argentina will play against Germany on Sunday's World Cup 2014 Final.
The Semi Final match will be televised on ESPN, and online free live stream can watch by clicking here.
ESPN is also allowing mobile users to watch the Netherlands vs. Argentina live stream here.
Univision will televise the match in Spanish on Univision Deportes, and ESPN Deportes will televise the game in Portugese.
And Univision will also provide the Netherlands vs. Argentina live stream here.