Netherlands 0- Costa Rica (win on pks)

Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Netherlands-Argentina semifinal

Dirk Kuyt on the penalty shoutout:

“You only have to do one thing. Taking a penalty is really quite simple: you either miss it, or you score. To be honest, when it comes down to [taking the penalty], you don’t think about that. You’ve just got so much adrenaline in your body. There’s a lot of pressure though, so you try to focus only on taking the penalty. Basically, you feel nothing, and in that moment it’s decided whether those 120 minutes of running have all been worth it or not.

“The players took the penalties very well, one by one, and then Tim [Krul] worked his magic. He was intimidating the opposition players and gave it his all. That’s part of the strength of this squad. We have 23 players and they’re all very good at what they do. Any time the manager needs them, they are there. We proved once again that we’re not doing it with only 11 players. We are all one team – one team with one goal.”

“I’m just so proud of this team because we didn’t give up for a second, neither in regular time nor in extra time – and not at all during the penalties. I think we showed, during those 120 minutes as well as in the shootout, that we really wanted to win this game and continue to the semi-finals. And finally we got what we deserved.”

Alejandro Sabella, Argentina coach following 1-0 win over Belgium..
I feel really pleased for this squad, who’ve lived up to our footballing history, for all the coaching staff, for our families. I think that, in terms of the balance we showed and the football we played, it was our best match so far. Our performance was excellent tactically, strategically and in how a team should behave, with team-mates putting themselves on the line for each other. What’s more, we were able to bounce back after [Angel] Di Maria had to go off, and he was a very big loss. We’ve achieved our minimum objective, which was to reach the last four, but we want more. That’s what we’ve come for.

Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina striker 
I feel incredibly happy, and I’d like to share that happiness with my family and the whole of Argentina. Ever since the first game I’ve been saying that I wasn’t worried, that my first goal would come, and fortunately it came at a crucial time. It’s been a long time since Argentina reached the semi-finals and I’m happy it’s this group of players that managed it, because they deserve it. Now we want to keep going and reach the Final.


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