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SAO PAULO, Brazil -- The World Cups second semifinal was supposed to put the silky skills of Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in the spotlight. [url=http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/]Cheap Los Angeles Kings Jerseys[/url] . Instead, a goalkeeper and two rock-solid defences stole the show. Argentina goalie Sergio Romero saved two penalties Wednesday to send Argentina into the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after tough defending and a lack of creative spark from either team consigned the match to a 0-0 stalemate. In a twist of fate, Romero credited Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal with helping launch his career when he arrived as an inexperienced youngster at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league. "I will be forever grateful to the coach for helping me out in a country that is so different from ours," Romero said. A day after Germany lit up the World Cup with its clinical 7-1 destruction of host Brazil, the Dutch and Argentines could not manage a goal between them in 120 minutes before the shootout. Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, will have to do play far better in Sundays final at Rio de Janeiros Maracana Stadium if he is to engineer a win over the powerful German team. The Barcelona star was muted throughout the match and extra time, rarely managing to shake off his markers. At the Itaquerao Stadium, he was overshadowed by his goalkeeper and the man he replaced as Argentina captain, Javier Mascherano, who bossed the midfield for his team the way surprise starter Nigel de Jong did for the Dutch. When Robben looked like deciding the match in stoppage time, Mascheranos perfectly timed sliding tackle blocked his shot at the near post. "I would say that he is an outstanding player," Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. "He is an emblem within our national squad, on the field as well as off it." Romero -- thought to be a weak link for Argentina and not even a starter for his Monaco club most of last season -- had almost nothing to do during the match, but blocked penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the shootout. For Argentina, Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez all converted their spot kicks. "Its luck, thats the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper," Romero said. "I had confidence, thank God things turned out well." A Germany-Argentina final means an extra bitter end to the tournament for Brazilians, who will have to watch their fiercest rivals play for the world title in their most hallowed stadium against a team that humiliated their nation in the semifinals. "We have a final to play, but with one day less rest and against Germany," Sabella said. "Well do everything possible to make it all the way to the top." It was the second straight penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw for the Dutch. Against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals, Van Gaal brought on substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul in the last seconds of extra time to replace Jasper Cillessen and Krul saved two spot kicks. This time, Van Gaal had used up all three substitutions by the end of extra time and Cillessen had to face the shootout. The young Ajax goalkeeper collapsed onto his knees and sank onto his back when Rodriguezs powerful strike ended the shootout. Krul walked across the pitch to console him. Van Gaal also said he had a hand in Romeros heroics from their time together at AZ Alkmaar. "Penalties are always a matter of luck," he said. "And I taught Romero how to stop penalties so that hurts." Many of Argentinas players stripped off their shirts in the rain at the Itaquerao Stadium and danced in front of their fans. Argentina reached its fifth final, and its first in 24 years. It won the title in 1978 -- beating the Dutch -- and in 1986. It lost the championship matches in 1930 and 1990. It played West Germany in both the 86 and 90 finals. The Netherlands, which has never won the World Cup, was seeking to reach its fourth final. After scoring 10 goals in three group matches, the Dutch scoring dried up in the knockout rounds. The team managed two late strikes against Mexico but failed to find the net before eliminating Costa Rica in the quarterfinal shootout. "The issue in a championship like this one is that you score one more goal than your opponent, which we didnt do," Van Gaal said, "We didnt create very much." ------ Lineups: Netherlands: Jasper Cillessen; Dirk Kuyt, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi (Daryl Janmaat, 46), Daley Blind; Nigel de Jong (Jordy Clasie, 62), Georginio Wijnaldum, Wesley Sneijder; Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie (Klaas Jan Huntelaar). Argentina: Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo; Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez (Rodrigo Palacio, 81); Ezequiel Lavezzi (Maxi Rodriguez, 101), Gonzalo Higuain (Sergio Aguero, 82), Lionel Messi. [url=http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/]Cheap Kings Jerseys Authentic[/url] . Wheeler scored two goals, including the winner, as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 6-4 on Friday in a game that featured a seven-goal first period. [url=http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/]Cheap Adidas Kings Jerseys[/url] . Pinch-hitter Tommy Medica singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in their first home game since Gwynn died of cancer Monday. [url=http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/]http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/[/url] . Mark Van Guilder, Austin Watson and Colton Sissons also scored for the Admirals (22-13-10), who are 2-0-2 in their last four outings, while Roussel tacked on an assist for a two-point night. Greg Pateryn scored once for the Bulldogs (20-22-4), who lost their fifth straight contest, and also assisted on Gabriel Dumonts goal.The subject of the NHLs participation in future Olympic Games came up at a join media conference Tuesday in Sochi featuring NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr and IIHF president Rene Fasel. The NHL has not committed to sending players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman continued to throw his support behind the NHLs participation in the Olympics when asked about it in a press conference last week. But, as expected, Bettman said this will be something addressed down the road. "The primary building blocks are logistics of travel, to and from the Olympics," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said afterwards. "It was a big challenge coming to Sochi and it certainly would be a big challenge if we were to go to South Korea. Player insurance is always a factor with the magnitude and length of player contracts these days, an incredible number of assets at risk. "So those were two of the most fundamental things we talked about." Daly added that the NHLs participation this time was helped by the fact that NHL broadcasters CBC and NBC also were Olympic rights holders. But the rights holders have yet to be determined for 2018. "So we havent really given any serious consideration to South Korea at all," Daly said. The players will have a big say on this issue. Fehr promised a full and thorough investigation as to whether continued Olympic participation is what the playerrs want. [url=http://www.cheaplosangeleskingsjerseys.com/]Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys[/url]. The NHL players volition to compete in the Olympics has been the main driving force behind their participation in the Winter Games. World Cup closer to return Fehr hinted that the two sides are closer to announcing details on a World Cup of Hockey. There hasnt been one played since 2004 and the speculation continues to be the next World Cup could happen as soon as 2016. There was the usual playfulness between Bettman and Fasel. At one point Fasel said there is nothing like seeing the smile of a hockey player when he wins a gold medal. To which Bettman was quick to reply, "Except winning the Stanley Cup." Finally, Daly was asked about expansion. There was a recent newspaper story in Seattle that said the NHL has targeted the city for an expansion team. "I think whenever Im asked that question, I make the same comments," he said. "The Pacific Northwest, we think is a good hockey area. I think the Vancouver Canucks have done extraordinarily well in developing that area as a good hockey market. Doesnt mean were going to expand there, doesnt mean weve made any decisions in that regard. "I said the same thing about Quebec City. I also believe its a very good hockey market with a very strong and passionate fan base. So theres nothing more I can say on expansion than we did [at the NHL Board of Governors meetings] in Pebble Beach, which is at some point in time it might be an appropriate consideration for us to bring to the board. But we havent reached that yet." 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