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FIFA World Cup: 9 July 2014: Live Thread

A live thread for the second semi-final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup between Argentina and Holland

Ronald Martinez

Well that was unexpected. In the absence of Neymar and Thiago Silva, Germany were certainly the favourites last night, but few could have predicted such a mauling. It was almost embarrassing; Germany toyed with the Brazilian defense all night, putting seven goals past a shell-shocked Julio Cesar. The end result? A 7-1 victory and a spot in the 2014 World Cup final.

Off the back of that shock, Germany have now been tipped to go on and lift the trophy on Sunday, but not all hope is lost for Argentina or Holland. Germany are beatable and as yesterday demonstrated, football is an incredibly unpredictable sport. However, before either side can dream of lifting the World Cup, they must first progress to the final; let's take a look at tonight's match:

Argentina vs Holland, Kickoff: 10pm CET

Or rather: Lionel Messi vs Holland. At least that's how this match is being billed by the media; with Sergio Aguero starting from the bench and with Angel di Maria sidelined for the remainder of the tournament, Argentina's star-studded attack suddenly looks a little toothless, save for that diminutive Barcelona forward that will lead the front-line. It wasn't Brazil's tournament, it wasn't Spain's tournament -- let's hope it's Messi's tournament instead, or at least that his journey doesn't end tonight at the hands of Louis van Gaal.

Spoiler: I really dislike Van Gaal, yet somehow he is being heralded as a coaching genius, probably because he recently made the decision to join Manchester United. However, here are some cold hard facts:

  • Van Gaal didn't win the UEFA Champions League in his stint at Bayern Munich
  • Nor did he win the UEFA Champions League with FC Barcelona
  • Instead, his spells at both clubs ended in humiliation as he was sacked, twice
  • Lest the world forget that he fell out with Rivaldo at Barcelona and managed the Blaugrana to within three points of the relegation zone

But hey, who am I to argue with a coach who makes "bold" decisions like subbing out Robin Van Persie (not a single knockout goal to his name, ever) and subbing in Tim Krul (who proceeded to flagrantly disregard the rules during his "heroic" display in a penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica.

The last time Lionel Messi faced a side coached by Van Gaal, he ran riot in a memorable two-legged humiliation of Bayern Munich. More of the same please...

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