July 7 (Reuters) - The Netherlands play Argentina in a World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
Where: The Corinthians arena, Sao Paulo Capacity: 62,601 When: Wednesday, July 9, 17:00 local (2000 GMT/4 PM ET) Referee: TBC
Probable teams: Netherlands: 1-Jasper Cillessen; 3-Stefan de Vrij, 2-Ron Vlaar, 4-Bruno Martins Indi, 15-Dirk Kuyt, 5-Daley Blind; 11-Arjen Robben, 20-Georginio Wijnaldum, 10-Wesley Sneijder; 9-Robin van Persie, 21-Memphis Depay Argentina: 1-Sergio Romero; 4-Pablo Zabaleta, 15-Martin Demichelis, 2-Ezequiel Garay, 16-Marcos Rojo; 14-Javier Mascherano, 6-Lucas Biglia, 8-Enzo Perez; 22-Ezequiel Lavezzi, 9-Gonzalo Higuain, 10-Lionel Messi
While Argentina have won the World Cup twice (1978, 1986), the Dutch are perennial underachievers in the tournament having reached three finals but coming away empty-handed each time (1974, 1978, 2010).
The teams met in the controversial 1978 final, which kicked off late after hosts Argentina objected to a plaster cast on the forearm of Dutch player Rene van de Kerkhof.
Argentina won the final 3-1 after extra time.
There have been four previous meetings at the World Cup between the sides - the Netherlands winning two, Argentina one - in the '78 final - and one draw.
The Netherlands, with 12 goals, are joint top scorers in the 2014 tournament with Colombia, who have already been eliminated.
Lionel Messi has scored four of Argentina's eight goals, while Dutch forwards Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie have each notched three.
With their 1-0 quarter-final win over Belgium, Argentina equalled their longest World Cup winning streak of five games. All five victories have been by one-goal margins.
Previous meetings: The teams have played each other eight times overall, with the Netherlands winning four, Argentina one and three draws. World Cup meetings: 1974 Second round: Netherlands 4 Argentina 0 1978 Final: Argentina 3 Netherlands 1 1998 Quarter-finals: Netherlands 2 Argentina 1 2006 Group stage: Argentina 0 Netherlands 0
Results so far at the 2014 World Cup: Netherlands: Opened their campaign with a 5-1 mauling of defending champions Spain before beating Australia 3-2 and Chile 2-0 to top Group B. They staged an astonishing fightback to beat Mexico 2-1 in the last 16, equalising with two minutes left on the clock before getting the winner via the penalty spot in stoppage time. Despite dominating Costa Rica in Saturday's quarter-final, the Netherlands needed a penalty shootout to secure a place in the semi-finals. Argentina: Laboured to a 2-1 win over Bosnia in their opening game, scraped a 1-0 win over Iran in stoppage time and beat Nigeria 3-2 to finish top of Group F. Needed an extra-time goal in their last 16 match to beat Switzerland 1-0, then wrapped up their quarter-final against Belgium by the same scoreline.
Head-to-head statistics at this tournament: Games played: Netherlands 5, Argentina 5 Goals scored: Netherlands 12, Argentina 8 Fouls committed: Netherlands 91, Argentina 54 Yellow cards: Netherlands 7, Argentina 5 Red cards: Netherlands 0, Argentina 0
Team stats: Distance run per match: Netherlands 114.8km, Argentina 109.6km Passes completed: Netherlands 2,031, Argentina 2,438 Pass completion rate: Netherlands 80 pct, Argentina 80 pct Penalty shootout record: In their two World Cup shootouts, the Netherlands lost in the semi-finals of the 1998 tournament to Brazil, and beat Costa Rica in the 2014 quarter-finals. Argentina survived two shootouts in 1990, beating Yugoslavia and Italy in the quarter- and semi-finals. They won another in 1998 when they eliminated England in the second round, and suffered their first defeat in the 2006 quarter-finals to Germany. (Editing by Ken Ferris)
- Sports & Recreation
- The Netherlands