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Romero sends Argentina into finals

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Argentina has a new hero in goalkeeper Sergio Romero who saved two penalties in a shootout with the Netherlands, putting his country into Sunday's final against Germany. 

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Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero reacts after saving a penalty during the penalty shoot-out following extra time during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN

Romero shootout saves send Argentina to final

SAO PAULO, Brazil AFP – Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved two penalties in a shootout with the Netherlands on Wednesday to take his country through to the World Cup final for the first time since 1990. (video highlights

Lionel Messi's Argentina beat the Dutch 4-2 in a penalty shootout after their cagey semi-final in Sao Paulo finished goalless. They play Germany in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro.

Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen (L) fails to save a shot from Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi during the penalty shoot out following extra-time. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

The drab match was the polar opposite of Germany's 7-1 annihilation of Brazil in the first semi-final 24 hours earlier. But Romero, who barely played for his Monaco club side last season settled matters by repelling spot-kicks from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

A despondent Netherlands' goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen sits on the pitch after losing their FIFA World Cup semi-final match. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

It was the second time that Holland, who lost the 2010 final to Spain, were beaten on penalties in a World Cup semi-final. They fell to Brazil in 1998.

"We have given everything and I'm incredibly proud of this team," Dutch star striker Arjen Robben said after.

"It came down to penalties and they simply did better," he told Dutch broadcaster NOS. "To lose like this simply sucks, it hurts."

The result was particularly cruel for Vlaar, who marshalled his defence imperiously throughout the game.

Messi had no answer to the Aston Villa centre-back's decisive interceptions, but the Barcelona superstar can nonetheless still hope to confirm his greatness in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday when he appears in his first World Cup final.

Although reserve goalkeeper Tim Krul had saved two penalties in Holland's shootout success against Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, coach Louis van Gaal kept faith in Jasper Cillessen this time.

Netherlands' forward Dirk Kuyt (L) makes his penalty shot count. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER

Romero's saves from Vlaar and Sneijder put Argentina in a commanding position and with Messi, Ezequiel Garay and Sergio Aguero all scoring, it was left to Maxi Rodriguez to dispatch the spot-kick that sent Argentina into the final.

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annihilation: the complete destruction of something, a complete defeat of an opponent or enemy - การทำลายล้าง

arena: a large area that is surrounded by seats, used for sports or entertainment - สังเวียน, สนามกีฬา

barely: almost not happening - แทบไม่เคยเกิดขึ้น

cagey: cautious, careful, not taking unnecessary chances - ระมัดระวัง

commanding: powerful and impressive - ที่มีอำนาจ ที่น่าประทับใจ

cruel: deliberately causing pain to other people or animals - ป่าเถื่อน  โหดร้าย

decisive: strong; firm - ซึ่งเด็ดเดี่ยว

defence: the players who must prevent the other team from scoring; the position of these players on the sports field - ผู้ป้องกัน

despondent: very unhappy because you do not believe that an unpleasant situation will improve - อย่างหมดหวัง

dispatch: to send someone or something somewhere - ส่งออกไป, ส่งคนออกไป

drab: not colourful or interesting - ไม่มีรสชาติ, ไม่น่าสนใจ, สีไม่สดใส, สีน้ำตาลอมเหลือง

faith: trust in somebody's ability or knowledge; trust that somebody/something will do what has been promised - ศรัทธา

imperious: behaving in a proud and confident way that shows you expect to be obeyed - โอหัง, ยโส, เป็นเชิงบังคับ, ครอบงำ, เผด็จการ

incredibly: in a way that is difficult to believe - อย่างไม่น่าเชื่อ

interception: to stop somebody/something that is going from one place to another - การดัก, การสกัด

marshal: to control or organise a large group of people; to gather together and organise the people, things, ideas, etc. that you need for a particular purpose - จัดระเบียบ, รวม

matter: a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน

nonetheless: despite what has just been said or done; nevertheless; even so - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ถึงอย่างนั้นก็ตาม

particularly: especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ

penalty shoot-out (or shootout): in football, a series of chances to kick the ball into the goal, given to both teams as a way of deciding who wins the game when both teams have the same score - การดวลจุดโทษ

pitch: an area painted with lines for playing particular sports, especially football - สนามฟุตบอล

polar opposite: the complete opposite of something, completely different from something else - ตรงข้าม

proud: feeling pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with - ภูมิใจ

quarter-finals: competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament - การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ

repel: to keep something away, or to prevent it from entering something - ขับไล่

reserve: kept for use for something or someone - ที่จัดสรรไว้ สำรอง

semi-final (or semifinal): one of the two games that are played immediately before the last game in a sports competition. The two people or teams who win the semifinals play each other in the last game, called the final, to decide who wins the competition - การแข่งขันกีฬารอบรองชนะเลิศ

settle: to decide something definitely, in this case the winner of a match -

spot-kick: (in football) a penalty kick; a kick from the penalty spot - การเตะลูกโทษ

striker: a football player whose job is to stay near the opponent’s goal and to score goals - ศูนย์หน้าตัวเป้า

suck: to be very bad, very annoying etc - แย่มาก (คำสแลง)

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