The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | Day 4 – Highlights

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Day 4 -Highlights

Hello everyone, and what a remarkable day it has been for all of us. Dozens of medals were collected by various Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, England and Scotland. The medal table count has been fast increasing since yesterday’s events, and to much of my delight, we are still second place with 57 medals so far. Australia are well out in front at second place with an astounding 73 medals, which is fantastic for all of us, and all the other Commonwealth countries that have taken part in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Since the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games started on the 23rd July, the pressure has been on, everyone’s reaction times have remained up and not only that, but everyone’s been excited just like me about the Commonwealth Games overall.

As the last week of the Commonwealth Games begins to get underway, there is still plenty of time for every Commonwealth country to bag some medals and most possibly, get to the top of the medal table. It won’t be easy for everyone, but it’ll most definitely be worth it.

Below are the updated medal results following from the last of today’s events that have just finished.

Nations Gold Medal Count Silver Medal Count Bronze Medal Count Total Medal Count
Australia 26 21 26 73
England 23 17 17 57
Scotland 11 8 11 30
India 6 9 7 22
New Zealand 6 5 10 21
Canada 7 3 8 18
Republic of South Africa 5 5 8 18
Wales 2 8 8 18
Malaysia 1 4 4 9
Nigeria 2 3 1 6
Kenya 2 3 0 5
Cyprus 2 1 2 5
Singapore 2 0 0 2
Cameroon 0 1 1 2
Bahamas 0 1 0 1
Bangladesh 0 1 0 1
Isle of Man 0 1 0 1
Jamaica 0 1 0 1
Pakistan 0 1 0 1
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 1
Sri Lanka 0 1 0 1
Ghana 0 0 1 1
Mauritius 0 0 1 1
Namibia 0 0 1 1
Northern Ireland 0 0 1 1
Samoa 0 0 1 1
Uganda 0 0 1 1
Zambia 0 0 1 1

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | Day 3 – Highlights

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Day 3 - Highlights

Hello everyone, well what a day it has been for all of us, we have had another score of medals, from Bronze, to Silver and to Gold. All of us have strived for the best in today’s events as they unfolded, and my goodness, we have certainly done well. Despite falling to second place in the medal table, we still earned an extra 13 medals, totalling our medal count overall to 45. Australia are currently in first place on the medal table with 50 medals overall, but at the end of the day, we all still did our best, and that is what matters the most.

Here, I will give a small, but quick and detailed summary which wraps up what has been an eventful, but exciting day for all of us.

  • In Swimming, England‘s Fran Halsall and Adam Peaty both won gold.
  • For Cycling, Scotland‘s Fachie/Maclean won their Para-sport tandem golds.
  • In Weightlifting, Zoe Smith won the 58kg Gold for England.
  • In Gymnastics, Frankie Jones from Wales wins Gold in the Individual Ribbon.
  • For Judo, Scotland’s Burton, Adlington, Sherrington and Powell of Wales won Golds.

Today has most definitely been full of surprises for all of us, as our swimmer, Fran Hansall was beyond shocked when she got Gold, because she was worried she wasn’t going to get Gold, but she did. WE ARE ALL PROUD OF YOU FRAN, THAT WAS YOUR BEST EVER RESULT WOOHOO!!!


Below are the updated medal table results, following on from the event’s that finished yesterday.

Nations Gold Medal Count Silver Medal Count Bronze Medal Count Total Medal Count
Australia 17 14 19 50
England 17 14 14 45
Scotland 11 6 8 25
India 5 7 5 17
Wales 2 7 8 17
Canada 7 3 6 16
Republic of South Africa 3 5 6 14
New Zealand 3 2 7 12
Malaysia 1 2 3 6
Cyprus 2 1 2 5
Nigeria 1 2 1 4
Cameroon 0 1 1 2
Singapore 1 0 0 1
Bangladesh 0 1 0 1
Isle of Man 0 1 0 1
Jamaica 0 1 0 1
Pakistan 0 1 0 1
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 1
Sri Lanka 0 1 0 1
Ghana 0 0 1 1
Mauritius 0 0 1 1
Northern Ireland 0 0 1 1
Samoa 0 0 1 1
Zambia 0 0 1 1

Before I conclude this blog post for the night, I would like to say that even though we are 5 medals behind Australia, we are still at the top and we’re still doing very well, Australia are doing extremely well, and so are we. So for every Commonwealth country that’s taken part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, strive for the best as much as you can, and even if you may only get a small amount of medals, or even more, a few medals to a large amount of medals is better than none at all. I will always feel proud for every Commonwealth country that’s taken part, as I’ve seen just how much determination everyone has been putting in. Keep up the good work everyone, you’ve done us all proud :-).

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games | Day 2 – Highlights

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Day 2 - Highlights

Hello everyone, my apologies for the delay, the internet was acting up a bit, but not to worry, I will still cover the highlights of yesterday’s events as they unfolded, plus I will also give a quick summary based on the events that took place yesterday.

The success from Thursday’s events carried on for England as we earned ourselves more Golds in a wide variety of the different Commonwealth events. Joanna Rowsell won Gold for England, while Jason Kenny won Silver. In Judo, Danny Williams, Megan Fletcher and Owen Livesey won Golds for England, and also Scotland‘s Clark won Gold.

It’s amazing how we are still at the top of the medal table two days running, and we’re not just at the top, Australia have also earned the same amount of medals as us. Scotland, so far, are 3rd in the medal table, which is actually really good considering they’re the hosts of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games.

Nations Gold Medal Count Silver Medal Count Bronze Medal Count Total Medal Count
England 12 11 9 32
Australia 11 9 12 32
Scotland 7 3 5 15
India 3 4 3 10
Canada 4 1 4 9
New Zealand 2 2 4 8
Republic of South Africa 0 2 5 7
Wales 0 3 3 6
Cyprus 1 1 1 3
Nigeria 1 0 1 2
Malaysia 0 1 1 2
Singapore 1 0 0 1
Bangladesh 0 1 0 1
Cameroon 0 1 0 1
Jamaica 0 1 0 1
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 1
Sri Lanka 0 1 0 1
Ghana 0 0 1 1
Northern Ireland 0 0 1 1
Samoa 0 0 1 1
Zambia 0 0 1 1

Overall, with England at the top, that is fantastic, I was shocked to find we earned more and more medals in the space of 24 hours, I know we only got another 15 medals, but an additional 15 medals to total our medal count overall to 32 is perfect.

Before I conclude this blog post for the night, I would like to say that the performance’s so far from all of the Commonwealth countries that have taken part in the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games have been fantastic, England have been fantastic, and have continued to strive high for the best result, and also, all the other Commonwealth countries that have taken part have been fantastic too. The medal table will glow like shining stars. At the end of the day, it’s the taking part that counts, and every Commonwealth country, including England, have done just that, they’ve all taken part, and are determined to strive for the best result they possibly could get.

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | Day 1 – Highlights

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Day 1 - Highlights

What a fantastic day it has been!!! Following on from the events that were on earlier, England have come up on top of the medal table, just after the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday. Yesterday was a perfect start to the Commonwealth Games, so let’s hope that lucky strike keeps going for England, and all the other Commonwealth countries competing in the Commonwealth Games as well.

Here is a brief summary that covers the main highlights of yesterday’s events as they unfolded.

  • Ross Murdoch won Gold in the 200m Breaststroke, while Michael Jamieson won Silver.
  • For Judo, both the Scottish Sisters, Kimberley and Louise Renicks won Gold.
  • Alistair Brownlee and Jodie Simpson won Gold for England in the Triathlon.
  • Cycling champion, Sir Bradley Wiggins, won Silver in the team pursuit.
  • The athlete, Mo Farah, withdraws from the Commonwealth Games.

Yesterday was a really fantastic day for all of us, given the fact we are currently at the top of the medal table.

Nations Gold Medal Count Silver Medal Count Bronze Medal Count Total Medal Count
England 6 7 4 17
Australia 5 3 7 15
Scotland 4 3 3 10
India 2 3 2 7
Canada 2 1 1 4
New Zealand 1 0 2 3
Malaysia 0 1 1 2
Republic of South Africa 0 0 2 2
Cyprus 0 1 0 1
Wales 0 1 0 1
Northern Ireland 0 0 1 1
Ghana 0 0 1 1
Nigeria 0 0 1 1

(Medal count ranks from highest to lowest in order of the overall amount of medals each country in this table has overall)

Before I conclude for the night, I wanted to say that yesterday’s events were spectacular, as all the athletes, swimmers etc were on it, all systems were go, go, go and the overall display was just perfect. Let’s all hope that Day 2 of today’s games goes exactly according to plan like yesterday’s events.

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | Day 1

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Day 1

Hahaha, WE WON GOLD!!!! Hello everyone, following on from last night’s Opening Ceremony, we have already got our first Gold in the bag. For the Triathlon event, Jodie Stimpson won England the first Gold.

So far, today has been a really good day, the weather is nice and peaceful, there is a comfortable breeze in the air, and there are medals constantly being won almost every couple of hours. As the day continues to progress, a few more events are in good hands, and in Cycling, Sir Bradley Wiggins has just won Silver in the team pursuit.

For the second Triathlon that was on earlier after the first one, England’s Alistair and Jonny Brownlee won both Gold and Silver.

Lots of medals are being won today, and hopefully, as the day begins to progress into the night, there should be a significant and astounding amount of medals to be won.

The medals for England have climbed remarkably in the first day, we’ve already won 3 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals, bringing our overall medal count to 8. Today’s events for Cycling and Triathlon have certainly given England the biggest boost it needed.

Before I conclude this blog post, I have put the allocated medal table that shows the results so far for the countries that have participated today.

1 ENG 3 3 2
2 AUS 2 1 4
3 IND 1 2 0
4 SCO 1 1 1
5 NZL 1 0 1

Overall Medal Count so far for England: 8 Medals

Overall Medal Count so far for Australia: 7 Medals

Overall Medal Count so far for India: 3 Medals

Overall Medal Count so far for Scotland: 3 Medals

Overall Medal Count so far for New Zealand: 2 Medals

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson


The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | The Opening Ceremony in Review

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - The Opening Ceremony in Review


Hello everyone, as promised, I will talk about the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games as it unfolded.

All the crowds that purchased their tickets to see the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games were certainly over the moon with the wonderful and energetic display that was put on tonight. Crowds gathered around the stadium to witness the afterglow of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as some or most of the athletes that took part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games made their appearance in the Celtic Football Club stadium where the Opening Ceremony was held.

Many famous faces, such as Victoria Pendleton, Sir Chris Hoy and the Royal Majesty herself, the Queen, including Prince Philip (The Duke of Edinburgh) made a substantial and remarkable appearance upon the progress of the Opening Ceremony.

More than 70 Commonwealth countries are set to take part in this year’s 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as part of an ongoing timeline of events that are set to begin.

One of the true world leaders was recognised tonight and will always be remembered, Nelson Mandela. He was recognised for the Commonwealth Games while the Opening Ceremony was in progress. He is a world leader who will never be forgotten.

To draw the Opening Ceremony to an astounding and fantastic close, a large firework display unfolded before everyone’s eyes, and everyone was cheering on for each country that would be participating in this year’s 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for 2014.

Before I conclude this blog post, I would like to say that tonight’s Opening Ceremony was fantastic, was also flawless, and went according to plan. It was one of the best, remarkable display’s that has ever been put on in history. Glasgow have done such a wonderful job delivering a flawless performance for the Opening Ceremony, and they have also truly done themselves proud.

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

The Wait is Over!!! Bring on the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games!!!!!!!!

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games

Hello everyone, my apologies for being away for a bit as I was doing a lot of needed work on my new blogbook: “A Year in Photography”, which will be released for free download on the 22nd August. Excitement is in the air today as the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games begins at 9:00PM with the Opening Ceremony. My excitement is literally at an all time high, as the Opening Ceremony is going to be full of fantastic surprises.

To mark the occasion, I have updated the Mother Nature Home Banner with the new strip, titled: “The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games”. This gives the overall design of this blog a chance to blend in well with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games over the course of the next 11 days.

Later on, I will be uploading another blog post after the Opening Ceremony finishes, which reviews the Opening Ceremony as it unfolded.

Make sure to stay tuned!!!

Thank you for viewing this blog post.

Alex Smithson

Brazil 2014 World Cup | Germany vs. Argentina (FINAL)

Germany vs. Argentina (FINAL)

Hello everyone, and welcome to the final, last ever match of the Brazil 2014 World Cup, here, I will blog about the final match of the Brazil World Cup as it draws the 2014 World Cup to a remarkable close, it hasn’t been easy for all of the teams, including Germany and Argentina, but hopefully, this last match will be a match to remember. For the final time, I will use BBC Sport to copy over the quotes made by football commentators, plus the pictures, and I’ll also add my own thoughts into this last live blog feed, so that all 3 combine.

Germany 1-0 Argentina (FULL TIME)

…and, we have kick off!!! Let’s all hope this match rounds off what has been one of the best World Cup’s in history.

Tom Rostance: “And we are under way! Germany start the game with an extended spell of possession before Jerome Boateng shins it out of play down the left-hand side. Bastian Schweinsteiger appears to be sitting deep in midfield with new boy Christoph Kramer further forward. Thomas Muller is flattened by Marcos Rojo as he chested down a long ball! Good start from Germany. Germany have four or five men over the free-kick and it’s a case of too many cooks, they make a real hash of it. Great counter from Argentina too, Ezequiel Lavezzi finding Gonzalo Higuain and he flashes in a low shot across goal. Close!”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Neilo: Got to feel for Sami Khedira. Must be gutted.

Callum Mackenzie: As much as I would like Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s Argentine contingent to achieve greatness, the more complete team deserve it more.

Jonjo, Reading (via text): Remember when Germany were supposed to walk all over Italy in the semi-final of Euro 2012? Everyone was talking like it was a done deal then as well. People never learn!

Former England Defender, Danny Mills: “There will be a lot of tension on the pitch early on. Players will just want to relax with that first touch or first pass, and get into the game a little bit. Gonzalo Higuain is up front pretty much on his own, at the moment Lionel Messi has dropped in to a midfield position. That is what Argentina will have to do – play on the counter attack. Gonzalo Higuain almost got lucky there. But Manuel Neuer knew exactly where the ball was going. He has such consistency. He is the man, he is the one you trust.”

Tom Rostance: “A promisingly open opening few minutes in Rio, both sides looking fluid in attack. The Argentina support is deafening already. They are ready for this!”

Miroslav Klose takes on Javier Mascherano

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt on Twitter: “Lionel Messi’s brilliance or Germany’s teamwork to decide World Cup final. Who will it be?”

Tom Rostance: “The BBC pundits were extolling the virtues of Germany’s right-wing before the game – there’s a sentence to be careful with – and that is where the first danger comes from. Philipp Lahm finds Thomas Muller, and he swings in a testing early cross which Sergio Romero does well to gather in. Lionel Messi hits the afterburners, lovely stuff, as he flies away from Mats Hummels down the wing. So much pace and control from the Argentine number 10 as he enters the area, but his cut-back is well collected by Bastian Schweinsteiger with Enzo Perez waiting. Pablo Zabaleta gets well forward to cross before Lucas Biglia has a shot well blocked by Benedikt Howedes. It’s a good spell for Argentina, and a very decent game so far.Miroslav Klose is inches away from connecting with Philipp Lahm’s teasing cross, down that right again. Germany have had nearly 75% of possession so far but Argentina look a real threat when they counter.”

Lionel Messi puts in a cross

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Mark Lawrenson: “Germany look sharp. I’m a little bit worried for Argentina down their left side. Germany have come down there three times already and Philipp Lahm basically has no one opposing him.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Tor Noppharat: Now this is already looking to be a cracking one! Come on, make the world watch in awe!

Danny Mills: “Argentina are playing a little more adventurously than we thought they would. They have had more possession than we thought too. But in the first 10 minutes of the Brazil game Germany looked nervous and gave the ball away a too often.”

Tom Rostance: “A strip of bright sunshine right in the heart of the Argentina goalmouth is causing goalkeeper Sergio Romero some difficulty as Germany whip in a corner. Get him a cap! Argentina clear and almost counter well again. That’s how they will hurt the Germans.”

Danny Mills: “When Argentina break like that, one player is going to have to run 60 yards of the pitch on his own. Maybe Lionel Messi can do that but the Germans are fit and strong and will get organised to get tackles in.”

BBC Sport Chief Football Writer at the Maracana, Phil McNulty: “Lots of Brazilian shirts – and Brazilian supporters – inside the Maracana on the day they hoped to be watching their country contest the World Cup Final. In their absence, not surprisingly, they are very obviously throwing their support behind Germany against the old enemy Argentina.”

Tom Rostance: “Ouch! German replacement Christoph Kramer takes a real whack to the jaw as Ezequiel Garay cleared the ball downfield. One of those collisions when Kramer was looking the opposite direction and took a huge hit. After some treatment it looks like he will able to continue. Germany don’t have many midfield options if he can’t…”

Christoph Kramer

Credit: BBC Sport

Christoph Kramer

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Danny Mills: “That impact was almost like a Carl Froch – George Groves punch, Christoph Kramer will do very well to recover from this, he looks shell-shocked.”

Tom Rostance: “Christoph Kramer is back up on his feet and back in midfield. Javier Mascherano strips him of the ball with a cracking tackle. That early open feel has just closed up. But what a chance for Argentina! A horrible moment from Toni Kroos, heading back a pass to his goalkeeper without looking, and Gonzalo Higuain is clean through! He has to wait a half second for the ball to reach him, and his composure leaves him altogether, the Napoli forward dragging his shot wide. A wretched finish! In the World Cup final…”

Gonzalo Higuain

Credit: BBC Sport

Mark Lawrenson: “Not to make the keeper make a save from that situation is criminal. He obviously couldn’t believe it because he snatched at it. He tried to hit it too hard. What an opportunity.”

Danny Mills: “It was headed back by Toni Kroos towards his own goal, I’ve no idea what he was trying to do, but Gonzalo Higuain almost panicked and hit it off his shin – a great opportunity but such a poor finish.”

Tom Rostance: “Gonzalo Higuain won’t need me to tell him that you don’t get many chances like that in a World Cup final. A career highlight up and gone in a flash…”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Dosti Ali: If Argentina lose this Gonzalo Higuain will be mortified.

Tom Rostance: “He will. He could end up a recluse like Ray Finkle in Ace Ventura, his whole career defined by that clanger…Since that miss Germany have been on top, keeping the ball well, with Pablo Zabaleta making one fine tackle to stop Miroslav Klose getting a shot away.”

Former England Captain, Gary Lineker: “Gonzalo Higuain has to nudge that forward with his head. Makes the chance easier. Poor decision making.”

Tom Rostance: “No shots on target yet, but it’s still a decent game. Miroslav Klose makes a well-timed burst forwards but Sergio Romero is off his line well to sweep up. Thomas Muller is then close to another cross from the right from Philipp Lahm – having a stormer – but the offside flag was raised. Bastian Schweinsteiger is the first man in the book for a cynical challenge in midfield. No need there, he had plenty of cover.”

Alistair, Cardiff (via text): Miroslav Klose will become the first player to receive four World Cup medals (consecutively too) and if Germany win, he’ll be the only player with a medal of each colour. World Cup legend!


Tom Rostance: “It’s not your day Gonzalo! Not your day. Gonzalo Higuain sweeps in a low cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi, he sets off on a near lap of honour – but the flag was up. And it was the right call too, he was clearly offside. Almost the opener…Germany are relieved by that offside flag – but they have had to make an early change. It could be crucial too as Andre Schurrle is on to replace Christoph Kramer. That means Mesut Ozil is in central midfield, interesting…”

Linesman's flag

Credit: BBC Sport

Danny Mills: “Gonzalo Higuain was away celebrating for what seemed like 30 seconds but there were two players clearly offside. It’s a warning for the Germans though.”

Mark Lawrenson: “The flag went up very, very quickly. The referee’s assistant is explaining to Lionel Messi why it was disallowed. Schurrle has now come on and we know what he is about.”

Former England International, Chris Waddle: “It’s been a bright start. Germany have had more of the possession as we expected but so far Argentina’s game plan, to play counter attacking football on the break, has been excellent.”

Tom Rostance: “Germany looking as ragged as they have all tournament. An enforced early change and now a real swinger of a tackle from Benedikt Howedes, catching Pablo Zabaleta in the groin. High and not particularly handsome. A yellow card for the makeshift left-back. Can Argentina capitalise?”

Danny Mills: “Germany now have got to show the game management skills they have showed in the past. They lost Sami Khedira in the warm-up and now with Christoph Kramer coming off, they’ve had to change their formation. In the past they have been very good at adapting to that. They will have to do it again today.”

Mark Lawrenson: “That is a naughty foul by Howedes. Fortunately Zabaleta is a tough character but Germany need to settle down.”

Tom Rostance: “Another great break from Argentina, Ezequiel Lavezzi eating up the yards to beat two or three defenders for pace, he carries it 45 yards before finding Lionel Messi. It needs to go one more, Messi tries to flip the pass through and it’s just cut out. Last-gasp defending…Germany now on the attack down the left, Thomas Muller cuts it back for the fast arriving Andre Schurrle, the Chelsea man middles his shot but Sergio Romero is always right behind it and beats it clear. The offside flag was raised as Mesut Ozil closed in on the rebound, but a good stop nonetheless. A goal before half-time? It feels like we may get one.”

Lionel Messi scratches head

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Andre Schurrle shot

Credit: BBC Sport


Tom Rostance: “Argentine coach Alex Sabella is on the prowl down the touchline, as is Lionel Messi! The little magician bursts into space down the right, somehow twinkling his way into the penalty area and flicking it past Manuel Neuer, but Jerome Boateng is back to hack it away from inside the goalmouth. It’s just threatening to burst into life…Thomas Muller nutmegs Marcos Rojo and then throws himself to the ground under very little contact – that triggers a reaction from the men in blue who are not all happy. Referee Nicola Rizzoli has to step in and calm it all down.”

Lionel Messi chats to referee

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Mark Lawrenson: “Muller and Rojo are having a bit of set to. This will play into Argentina’s hands but the game is so fantastically poised.”

Tom Rostance: “Lovely feet from Mesut Ozil as he skips away from two men on the edge of the box, almost Zidane like, before laying it off to Toni Kroos. He needs the driver from there, but hits a seven iron and it’s tame and easy for Sergio Romero.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Sil (Brazil): Germany deserves all the respect from Brazil. Come on Germany! Brazil is with you!

Mark Lawrenson: “That was a back pass by Kroos.”

Tom Rostance: “Thomas Muller is playing as an orthodox right-winger now, as Germany look to stretch the Argentine defence. Two minutes of time added on as Germany force a corner. He has to score! From the corner Benedikt Howedes is totally free! Six yards out, and he smashes a header against the post. The second big miss of the half…Should be 1-1. Two big chances, two bad misses…”

Kevin, Hornchurch (via text): There is no greater sight in football than Lionel Messi running with the ball at his feet towards the the defence. Defenders look petrified. Brilliant. Only Gareth Bale has similar ability.


Tom Rostance: “Javier Mascherano springs a cracking pass over the top to find Gonzalo Higuain – he’s in on goal again but he’s offside again. Almost the way through though. Argentina starting the second half on top. What a chance! Lionel Messi gets in behind, he’s onside this time, wide out to the left of the penalty area, he hits a low shot, the ball beats Manuel Neuer – and beats the far post. A fraction wide. The right man in the right place. The wrong result.”

Lionel Messi shoots

Credit: BBC Sport

Lionel Messi with head in hands

Credit: BBC Sport

Mark Lawrenson: “Of all the people. There was a massive intake of breath. You’re just waiting for the net to bulge.”

Danny Mills: “Could that be the moment? Lionel Messi, from not the easiest of angles, just tries to roll it in the far corner. How often have we seen him score from there?”

Tom Rostance: “That was another huge chance. Lionel Messi did everything right. Everything but the goal. It’s all Argentina since the break. Lionel Messi seems to be playing a few yards higher up the pitch and Jerome Boateng has to stretch to cut out another raking pass through.”

Danny Mills: “Just like in the first half, Germany are a little bit rattled. Argentina have started very well and are getting in behind the German defence.”

Mark Lawrenson: “It’s been a really bright start by Argentina to the half. Every time they go forward they are posing problems.”

Tom Rostance: “Sergio Aguero’s first involvement sees him skip down the left wing but that man Jerome Boateng slams the door shut in his face again. A cracking 0-0 so far, but it’s goals we want…Germany’s first moment of danger in the second half. Andre Schurrle skips inside a man on the edge of the box, he is clipped but referee Nicola Rizzoli waves play on and Thomas Muller’s low cross-shot is hacked away. That was better from Joachim Low’s men.”

Mark Lawrenson: “The game is quickening up which is great. Schurrle is saying to the referee ‘why did you not give me a free-kick?’ but the referee was actually giving Germany advantage.”

Tom Rostance: “Oooof! Manuel Neuer comes flying out of his goal, he punches the ball clear but catches Gonzalo Higuain with his knee.He reaches the ball fairly, but he clatters the striker on his follow through. Higuain is OK to continue I think but in real time that was a sickening collision. Somehow that is given as a foul against Higuain.”

Danny Mills: “Sergio Aguero is playing more centrally than Ezequiel Lavezzi was and Argentina are trying to play balls over the top for him, Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain to chase. But I’m not sure Messi is fit. His head is down, and I think he might have a slight problem with is hamstring. He has held it a few times already and is just walking around.”

Tom Rostance: “A few head injuries in this game then, and Gonzalo Higuain is hoping to run this one off.”

Mark Lawrenson: “Was Neuer inside the box when he made a connection with his fist? The replays suggest he is. You can see why that went his way – a 6ft 4in keeper hurtling through the air.”

Danny Mills: “I can’t believe the referee has given that as a free-kick. Gonzalo Higuain just carries on running and Manuel Neuer takes him out. Higuain gets one fully in the face. Poor decision, it should have been nothing more than a throw in.”

Phil McNulty: “The two coaches are an interesting study in body language. Germany’s Joachim Low is an upright figure, shirtsleeves rolled up and looking relatively calm. Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella is pacing his technical area, animated and often stooping with his hands on his knees, almost as if he is tempted to get on and join his players. Sabella never looks relaxed.”

Tom Rostance: “Into the final half an hour in Rio. Are we going all the way to extra time and beyond again? We’ve not seen much from Lionel Messi since that golden opportunity at the start of the half.”


Credit: BBC Sport

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Andrew Larkin: Manuel Neuer is Harald Schumacher in disguise.

Tom Clempson: It’s more of a penalty for Gonzalo Higuain than a free kick against him.

P.D Smith: Argentina playing as they did in the semis – disciplined in defence and positive in attack.

Tom Rostance: “Andre Schurrle bursts in down the left and hits an early cross, Mesut Ozil is charging in at the near post but the ball is always behind him and he can’t gather it in.”

Andre Schurrle

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Tom Rostance: “Good pressing from Argentina forces Manuel Neuer into kicking it clean out of play. Germany looking rattled, but then Javier Mascherano makes a mistake in midfield and slides through to bring down Miroslav Klose and a yellow card which he accepts readily. Sergio Aguero is then booked for a late one on Bastian Schweinsteiger. Getting a bit edgy. Lionel Messi on the ball for the first time in 15 minutes, easily beating two men in midfield before earning a free-kick which is easily claimed by Manuel Neuer. The quality has just edged out of it…”

Dom, Leigh on Sea (via text): Very strange watching Lionel Messi in a team having this little possession.

Tommy, Clevedon (via text): It’s been a great game so far but we’ve just hit the dreaded 60 minute no one wants to lose mark! Pens anyone?

Tom Rostance: “Another good claim from Manuel Neuer, hurtling out to punch this time, ends an Argentine attack. The best keeper in the world?”

Manuel Neuer

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Danny Mills: “Germany still haven’t really created a golden opportunity in this second half. At the moment, if Argentina can keep their concentration, you could see a half chance falling to Sergio Aguero. But when Argentina do attack they have to be careful they do not leave space for Germany to counter. That is the only time they really look dangerous.”

Tom Rostance: “Thomas Muller is able to ghost into the area for the first time since the break, he floats away into space but Andre Schurrle can’t control his pass. We are getting toward ‘one goal wins’ territory.”

Mark Lawrenson: “What a poor touch by Schurrle. His body wasn’t in any shape to take it. But this game is opening up.”

Tom Rostance: “Nope. Not happening for Lionel Messi, whose touch lets him down as he tries to collect a crossfield pass. We are 20 minutes away from full-time. Can Messi inspire his side to the trophy? Right on cue, he cuts inside and bends a shot wide…”

World Cup trophy

Credit: BBC Sport

Danny Mills: “We are either going to see a horrendous mistake or that one moment of individual brilliance, because at this stage in the game you start to feel one goal might be enough to seal the victory. Lionel Messi is dropping deeper and deeper. He just needs one moment to come up with that fantastic goal.”

Mark Lawrenson: “When Messi is up against defenders they seem mesmerized by him. His movement is so quick, short steps, and fantastic control. He was thinking Iran all over again.”

Tom Rostance: “Rodrigo Palacio, who has made four substitute appearances during the World Cup, has a fifth in the final. The Inter striker replaces Gonzalo Higuain, who will still be thinking about that first-half chance. Lionel Messi may be coming to life. He bursts past two defenders with a wonderful turn of pace but new man Rodrigo Palacio is not on the same page and can’t react to his touch through.Chance at the other end! Thomas Muller puts in a cracking pass from the left this time, it finds Benedikt Howedes who is not the man you’d want there, and he can’t gather it up. Into the last 10…”

Rodrigo Palacio

Credit: BBC Sport

Chris Waddle: “I was expecting Argentina to have come well off the pace by now but Germany have looked rattled since the start of this second half. They have not settled down at all.”

Tom Rostance: “Lovely! Philipp Lahm frees Mesut Ozil down the right, the Arsenal man gets his head up nice and early and finds Toni Kroos on the edge of the box. Kroos has time, goes for the early side-footer, but passes it tame and wide. Great pass from Ozil. The last two World Cup finals have both gone to extra time. Are we on for a third one in a row?”

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Danny Mills: “That is the second big chance for Toni Kroos. It was brilliant play from Mesut Ozil to pull it back and Kroos almost tried to be too precise and that has cost him. You want him to put his foot through that and at least make the goalkeeper work.”

Mark Lawrenson: “You never felt as though Kroos was going to make the net bulge. There wasn’t even a bobble, no excuse really.”

Tom Rostance: “It’s now or never really. Germany perhaps looking the fitter and stronger side.”

Aerial view of Maracana at night

Credit: BBC Sport


Tom Rostance: “Last change for Argentina. Enzo Perez, who looks finished, comes off and Fernando Gago takes his place.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Tristan Comley: Lionel Messi looks absolutely knackered… Can’t blame him though!

Ash: No doubt Miroslav Klose has been outstanding for Germany but his lack of pace has severely let him down and held him back today.

Lionel Messi

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Tom Rostance: “Lionel Messi takes it on his shoulder, beats one man and plays a one-two. It all opens up for him – until a brilliant tackle stops him in his tracks. Miroslav Klose gets a huge ovation as he is replaced by Mario Gotze. Lucas Biglia needs some treatment, Argentina have used all three subs but he’s OK. Into the last two minutes of the 90.”


Danny Mills: “I think Miroslav Klose will be 40 at the next World Cup. It may be a little too much for him. What a fantastic player. He gets an applause from everyone in the stadium as he goes off.”

Twitter Dbeate: #bbcworldcup

Bhaz: Mario Gotze on for Miroslav Klose. Take a bow, goal machine.



Tom Rostance: “Here we go then – extra time in the World Cup final.”

Alan Hansen (Match of the Day Analyst): “It just needs one piece of individual brilliance and Messi is the man.”

Lionel Messi

Credit: BBC Sport and Alan Hansen ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Stepan Benyovszky: Once again most “experts” are wrong, Argentina comfortably holding their own. Germany nervous and will need luck. Lots of it.

Lionel Messi star

Credit: BBC Sport ©

Tom Rostance: “What a chance! Right at the start! Andre Schurrle, who scored at the start of extra time against Algeria, has a chance but lashes in a shot straight at Sergio Romero.”

Andre Schurrle shoots

Credit: BBC Sport

Mark Lawrenson: “Great break by Germany and terrific save by Romero. I hope that’s set the tone for extra time.”

Tom Rostance: “This is so open now! Sergio Aguero gets on the burst, flying down the left wing before delivering a poor ball across. Mats Hummels was so slow in the middle. This extra period could be a real test for one or tow out there. Manuel Neuer took a throw-in there for Germany. One for the fans of the niche acts in football…Joachim Low still remains calm. I wonder if there is any scenario in which he loses it. Maybe not being able to park in a shopping centre, running late for a flight…Someone get Carlos Tevez back from Disneyland. How Argentina could do with him now.”

Phil McNulty: “There has been talk about Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano giving the team talks but it was a fired-up coach Alejandro Sabella who was delivering the motivational speech during the break there.”

Former England Captain, Rio Ferdinand: “Jerome Boateng has been immense today. Mats Hummels is lacking mobility – outside the box he has been left a few times. Ezequiel Garay and Martin Demichelis have been very good too.”

Mark Lawrenson: “Schurrle seems to be frightened of Zabaleta. He won’t take him on at all.”

Tom Rostance: “Mats Hummels is gone – absolutely gone! He can’t run and he can’t jump, he gets right under a cross from the left, gets it all wrong to allow Rodrigo Palacio in. Manuel Neuer is out in a flash though, getting right in the striker’s face and forcing him to chip it wide. Just run at Hummels. The man has lost his legs…”

Rodrigo Palacio chip

Credit: BBC Sport

Danny Mills: “There was that opportunity I was talking about. The first touch was brilliant, you’re thinking surely now he has to score but in fairness to Manuel Neuer he came out very quickly. I think Rodrigo Palacio was just panicked by that and he scooped it well wide.”

Tom Rostance: “Germany are lacking a focal point since Miroslav Klose came off, with Thomas Muller doing his best to get in the mixer.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Fabian McNeilly: I’d feel more sorry for Rodrigo Palacio if his hair wasn’t so terrible.

Tom Rostance: “Javier Mascherano cuts the ball out with a great tackle and then catches Bastian Schweinsteiger on his follow through. He’s on a booking but no further action taken, or needed. Germany have one change left. I’d take Mats Hummels off. He’s playing like someone’s dad.”

Danny Mills: “It is so tense down there. The substitutes behind the German goal who are supposed to be warming up are just stood watching the game. Julian Draxler could come on for Germany, but then who do you take off? Do you take off a defender and go for it?”

Tom Rostance: “This has got the distinct whiff of penalties about it now, both sides looking tired and devoid of ideas. It’s a shame to end this tournament like this really. Someone still has time to lift it though.”

Germany fans

Credit: BBC Sport


Tom Rostance: “We are go. The winner in the 2010 final came from Andres Iniesta in the second period of extra time, in the 116th minute in fact. There is still time. Javier Mascherano is playing a dangerous game as he catches Bastian Schweinsteiger again with a late tackle. Do not get sent off now…Bastian Schweinsteiger getting all the treatment now. Sergio Aguero catches him with a swinging arm and again there is no card from the referee. He’s cut under the eye too. Blood flows from the wound. Aguero could have been dismissed for that, he gets nothing. Bastian Schweinsteiger is rightfully angry after that clash. Sami Khedira was off the bench and in the linesman’s ear.”

Sergio Aguero elbows Bastian Schweinsteiger

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Bastian Schweinsteiger  bleeds from under his eye

Credit: BBC Sport

Bastian Schweinsteiger  bleeds from under his eye

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Alan Hansen: “The first five minutes of extra-time was like the first half – end to end. You have to find the extra reserves from somewhere – the most important 15 minutes of your life.”


Credit: BBC Sport and Alan Hansen ©

Mark Lawrenson: “Manuel Neuer certainly won’t be lacking confidence if it goes to penalties. He might even take one.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Former France and Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira: “Both defences have been excellent. I hope one team wins it before penalties as I know how difficult it is to lose that way.”

Brent, London (via text): Don’t Germany have a sub left? Get Lukas Podolski out there now!

Mark Lawrenson: “That should have been a sending off. Aguero is very fortunate.”

Tom Rostance: “Bastian Schweinsteiger’s cornerman has done a good job on that cut and the midfielder is back on. No real danger at the moment, pretty pedestrian stuff in the centre.”

Duncan, Richmond (via text): The World Cup final should be the one game allowed a replay. It’s just not right that after two years of qualification and 64 games in the finals, the world champions will be decided from the penalty spot. It’s not football.

Tom Rostance: “Super sub! Super Mario! What a moment for Mario Gotze, as he gives Germany the lead. And surely wins the World Cup! Andre Schurrle sprints down the left, showing rare energy at this stage of the game. His cross finds Gotze, he takes it on his chest and then flashes the volley across Sergio Romero and into the corner. Wonderful, wonderful technique…”

Mario Gotze goal

Credit: BBC Sport

Mario Gotze goal

Credit: BBC Sport

Mario Gotze scores

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Mario Gotze celebrates

Credit: BBC Sport

Danny Mills: “What a fantastic goal, it was a great cross into the box, Mario Gotze drifted into the near post, took it on his chest and fired it into the far corner. He had the composure to provide a brilliant finish that deserves to win a World Cup final.”

Tom Rostance: “Even in the aftermath of that goal, Joachim Low remained unmoved on the sidelines. The man has anti-freeze in his veins. A minority of supporters inside the Maracana are rocking. Germany minutes away from a fourth World Cup win…”

Mark Lawrenson: “That was a fantastic first touch and superb technique. He didn’t even look where the keeper was, he just knew where he was going.”

Danny Mills: “You look at the Argentina players now and their heads have dropped. We haven’t seen enough from Lionel Messi, he is clearly not fit at all.”

Tom Rostance: “Five minutes from glory. And brilliant from Manuel Neuer again, off his line like a flash to snuff out a promising Argentine attack.”

Mark Lawrenson: “There’s four minutes left and Argentina just can’t get the ball.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

The JakeWaller: That’s how you become a hero! No German will EVER forget your name. Well taken son!

Tom Rostance: “Lionel Messi heads the ball on to the roof of the net. Mario Gotze’s goal by the way was the 171st of this World Cup, which ties with France 98 for the record. Per Mertesacker is coming on for Germany. Everyone’s up top for Argentina, with Javier Mascherano playing as a sweeper.”

Mark Lawrenson: “Neuer knew exactly where Messi’s header was going. He saw it coming and decided to stay on his line.”

Phil McNulty: “Germany fans counting down the clock and the Brazilian supporters in here roaring on Joachim Low’s side – even jeering Lionel Messi when he failed to keep the ball in play. Can Argentina somehow beat the imposing presence of the magnificent Manuel Neuer?”

Tom Rostance: “Germany may get a second on the break – Thomas Muller is in and pokes it across goal but Mesut Ozil can’t get there. Here comes the BFG – Per Mertesacker on for Ozil. Two World Cup winners at the Arsenal next season?”

Danny Mills: “There will be more than dancing in Dusseldorf this evening, but this will be massively celebrated in Brazil as well. The last thing they wanted was an Argentina victory. Argentina had plenty of chances to win it but unfortunately for them their chances fell to the wrong players.”

Germany fans celebrate

Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Tom Rostance: “120 mins done – we have TWO MINUTES added on. Two minutes between Germany and glory. Free-kick to Argentina. Get up there Sergio Romero! Long delay here. Lionel Messi lines up the free-kick, he’s a long way out. He can’t from here – can he?”

Mark Lawrenson: “Romero is asking to go forward. Why stop him? He is asking to go forward but is being ignored.”




Brazil 2014 World Cup | Netherlands vs. Brazil

Brazil vs. Netherlands

Hello everyone, and welcome back for the second to last match before tomorrow, I was away all of yesterday as I went to the prom I mentioned a few days previous, which was one of the best ever proms around, but now I’m back, I will use BBC Sport to copy over any quotes made by football commentators, plus the pictures, and I’ll also add my own initial thoughts into this blog feed as the match slowly unfolds.

Brazil 0-3 Netherlands

…and, we have kick off!!! Let’s hope this match goes well for both the Netherlands and Brazil tonight as this match unfolds.



Jonathan Jurejko: “Oh. My. Word. Yet more terrible defending by David Luiz, who tamely heads a right-wing cross down to Daley Blind. He is lurking about 15 yards out and shows no mercy – slamming in his first international goal. More Brazilian tears in the stands.”

Steve Wilson (BBC Match of the Day Commentator): “I am afraid it is another defensive horror show. David Luiz had no awareness of what was going on and Daley Blind smacks it into the roof of the net. We have played 17 minutes and the home fans are silent. Where do Brazil go from here? Have they learned their lesson from the match against Germany in Belo Horizonte?”

Jonathan Jurejko: “Brazil were only 1-0 down after 16 minutes against Germany. Just saying…Oscar is the only Brazil looking capable of doing something special for the Brazilians at the moment. He ghosts past a line of Dutch defenders to get on the end of Willian’s lofted pass, but Ron Vlaar flies back to pinch the ball off his toe. Good defending. Back come the Netherlands. Stefan De Vrij and Dirk Kuyt both find space close to the right touchline, but neither man can pick out a blue Dutch shirt in the danger zone. Decent tempo to this opening 25 minutes.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Sam Glazier: Daley Blind would be a better lone striker than Fred or Jo.

Kevin Crighton: You can’t believe Paris Saint-Germain paid £50m for David Luiz. Shocking defending.


Jonathan Jurejko: “Brazil have not lost consecutive matches on home soil since 1940; 0-3 v Argentina in Feb 1940 and 3-4 v Uruguay in March 1940.”


Credit: BBC Sport

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Luis Nunes (Brazil): Can someone stop this? Please?!!

Gerlison Barros (Brazil): Thiago Silva was lucky. He deserved a red card.

Fernando (Argentina): The truth is that I feel sorry for the Brazil players. It’s too much.

Jonathan Jurejko: “Brazil struggle to move the ball out of the own half, before that man Oscar picks up the pace. The Chelsea midfielder has the back of his heels clipped by Bruno Martins Indi on the right edge of the Dutch box. Chance…Oscar is the Brazil player charged with taking the free-kick, whipping a curling out-swinging towards the six-yard box. David Luiz and Jo both climb into the air, but the ball flicks off of Luiz’s bonce and out for a goal kick. Now it’s not that bad for Brazil fans. They were now 5-0 down at this stage against the Germans…In fact, almost as if they’ve just realised that fact, the Brazilians begin a Mexican Wave. Suppose they’ve got to entertain themselves somehow. Seconds after Robin van Persie’s curling cross is gathered by Brazil keeper Julio Cesar, the Selecao charge forward down the right flank. Roma right-back Maicon picks up the attacking baton, tries to skip around Georginio Wijnaldum and wins a free-kick on the edge of the Dutch box. The Dutch manage to get a glancing head on Oscar’s delivery, before seeing out the resulting corner. Better signs for Brazil though.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Alan Compton: Laurent Blanc is at home having a scan of the bags in the cupboard, just to see if he can find a receipt for a certain purchase.

Rachel: David Luiz performs much better as a defensive midfielder just in front of the back four than as a traditional central defender.

Steve Wilson: “Brazil are committing players forward as often as they can but they could be caught on the break so easily.”

Jonathan Jurejko: “Oscar has been far and away Brazil’s best player. He is chief tormentor to the Dutch again, driving forward from his own half into opposition territory. Swansea’s Jonathan De Guzman hauls him down from behind and gets a yellow card for his troubles. Close! Brazil are within a whisker of halving the deficit. Oscar’s teasing free-kick from near the right touchline is flicked on by Luis Gustavo at the near post, Paulinho and David Luiz both lunge forward at the both stick, but neither can nab a decisive touch. Dirk Kuyt isn’t a man who goes down easily – but he is has been floored after an aerial collision with Maxwell. The Fenerbahce man needs some treatment on the touchline before reappearing back over the whitewash. You can’t beat a good wet of the magic sponge. Netherlands captain Robin van Persie shaping up to shoot with that lethal left foot is a sight feared by every defence in the world. Luckily for this fragile Brazil backline, he does not connect as sweetly as we know he can from inside the area. Brazil keeper Julio Cesar gratefully clutches the ball to his barrel chest. Another Dutch name is surely going to be taken by referee Djamel Haimoudi. Ron Vlaar clatters into Ramires both late and above the foot. But no – Vlaar somehow escapes. As do his team as Oscar boots the free-kick into the wall and then Maxwell follows up by ballooning the rebound over the crossbar.Two minutes of stoppage time for Brazil to grab themselves a lifeline. “


Credit: BBC Sport

Dirk Kuyt

Credit: BBC Sport


Jonathan Jurejko: “Yes. Yes he is. Fernandinho runs on to the pitch with the electronic scoreboard bearing the number of Luiz Gustavo. Straight swap in the middle of the Brazil midfield. Game on. Brazil enjoy some early possession, with Fernandinho already in the thick of things. Maxwell swings in a left-wing cross towards Paulinho, but the linesman has his flag wafting in the Brasilia air. Offside. Nifty footwork from Julio Cesar in the Brazil goalmouth draws a big cheer from the home fans. He keeps his nerve to dance around an onrushing Robin van Persie before picking out David Luiz. The camera pans to Big Phil Scolari – cue boos from the stands. A few screams of hope as Brazil press forward. The Selecao win a corner, before Willian drills in a low cross from the left which is hacked to safety. Then, there are a few screams of anguish from the home fans as the Dutch break. A quick free-kick almost catches the Brazilians out, Arjen Robben and Daley Blind playing a quick one-two, before the former’s deflected shot loops over the far post. Half-time substitute Fernandinho has added a flicker of energy to the Brazil side. He lofts a hopeful punt towards Oscar, who cannot take down the ball just outside the Dutch box. Jinxed him. After just praising Fernandinho for a promising start, he gets it all wrong by nobbling cross-Manchester rival Robin van Persie just inside the Brazil half. That lands him in deep bother with the referee, who plucks out the yellow card. Another Brazil substitute as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari looks to salvage something from this game. Inter Milan midfielder Hernanes takes the place of Tottenham’s Paulinho. And Hernanes’ first contribution to dive in, studs first, on Arjen Robben’s left ankle. Pure filth. Much better from Brazil. Ramires turns neatly about 30 yards out, leaving Ron Vlaar for dead, and finds some space to shoot. But the Chelsea man drags his low shot across the face of the Dutch goal. Better signs for the home nation though. Here’s a rare sight – Maicon bursting forward through the middle of an opposition defence. The ageing right-back is scythed down by Dirk Kuyt about 30 yards out to win a free-kick. David Luiz is licking his lips in anticipation, but sees his dipping effort fly straight into the gloves of Jasper Cillessen. At least Cillessen has got some mud on them…Good spell for Brazil is this. Maicon is adamant that he deserves a penalty after Ron Vlaar moves his arm towards his cross from the right touchline. Not a chance, says Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi (or words to that effect).Big Phil Scolari is po-faced on the touchline. He looks like he is a broken man. Is this the final 25 minutes of his tenure?”

Van Persie

Credit: BBC Sport

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Matthew Bennett: If you think about this Brazil team, they were the boot cleaners of Ronaldo and Rivaldo. Maybe they should still be.

Steven McNamara: Brazil leaving out Phillipe Coutinho was a huge mistake, surely they have better strikers than the shocking Jo and Fred too?

Stepan Benyovszky: Arjen Robben has been absolutely incredible. Not just the skill, but the work rate. Standout player of the whole World Cup.

Duncan, Isleworth (via text): As entertaining as this World Cup has been, it tells you something about the poor quality of football displayed when this Brazil team can be placed fourth.

Tommy (via text): People can slate Brazil but the fact is they beat Chile and Colombia – both so-called dark horses! I for one would have been delighted to see England get this far.

Brazil fans

Credit: BBC Sport

Jonathan Jurejko: “Brazil are baying for a penalty as Oscar goes tumbling in the Dutch area. He looks inquisitively to the referee, Dutch tackler Daley Blind looks sheepish. But the referee is not having any of it – and books Oscar for diving. The Chelsea man cannot believe it. Very harsh.A bitter-sweet day’s work for Dutch goalscorer Daley Blind, who has done himself some damage in that tangle. It all looked pretty innocuous, but the Ajax defender looks in serious pain. he is taken off on a stretcher and is replaced by Daryl Janmaat.”


Credit: BBC Sport

Steve Wilson: “Oscar booked for diving, Daley Blind stretched out his left foot, he didn’t make any contact with the ball but the referee was adamant contact with the player was initiated by Oscar. Having seen the incident a few times now, Blind might just have made contact with the top of Oscar’s right boot. Brazil feeling hard done by.”

Jonathan Jurejko: “Last throw of the tactical dice for Luiz Felipe Scolari. Unfortunately, his isn’t able to call on Neymar – so here’s Hulk instead. He needs to do something incredible. Boom-tsh. Arjen Robben is like the talented kid at school who you could never get the ball off. The Dutch speedster sets off again, slaloming his way into the Brazil box, before Fernandinho superbly gets a superb challenge in.Back up the other end, Hulk lets fly from a tight angle. The less said about that effort the better…..”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

D-Mac: Thought the referee got it right. Oscar started to dive before the contact. If he had carried on normally it would have been a pen.

Ben Dunbar: Looked to me like Oscar was going down before the contact for that one. Wish referees could book for simulation and give the penalty.

Daniel Woodley: That was a blatant penalty! The boy who cried wolf springs to mind. How many times have they dived in the World Cup?

Jonathan Jurejko: “Hulk wants a piece of this action. The portly Zenit forward leads a Brazil counter attack and sees Ron Vlaar standing between him and the goal. He tries to ease past the Aston Villa defender with a silky skill, but there’s no fooling the Dutchman. Great challenge. Great World Cup for the big man. Ron Vlaar is everywhere! Oscar finds space down the left, getting to the byeline, only to see Vlaar’s chiselled face staring at him from close proximity. Another strong block from the Dutch defender. Moments later, Oscar blazes one high over the Dutch crossbar. Just over 10 minutes for Brazil to give their suffering supporters something to cheer.Arjen Robben spends more time on the floor than a baby who has just learned to crawl. The Dutchman tumbles again as he competes for a high ball pumped into the Brazil box with Fernandinho. Referee Djamel Haimoudi is not interested. Dutch boss Louis van Gaal is furious on the touchline.”

Van Gaal

Credit: BBC Sport


Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Mauricio Sotrate (Brazil): So sad to see our Selecao like this. Lost, players hitting their opponents and no real football…

Jonathan Jurejko: “Here’s an opportunity for Brazil. Hulk stands over a free-kick close to the left touchline as David Luiz and Thiago Silva trot forward. But his set-piece fails to beat the first man and the Dutch clear. Very disappointing.”

Steve Huish, Surbiton (via text): Congratulations to Arjen Robben – Best Actor 2014. Well done.

Jason (via text): Feel for Oscar. He is trying to get something moving for Brazil but the other players are just failing him.

Jonathan Jurejko: “Remarkably, the Dutch win their first corner of the match. And it almost provides a third goal. Dirk Kuyt climbs above the Brazil defence to meet Robin van Persie’s set-piece, but cannot steer it into the far corner.Brazil substitute Hulk gets a bit tetchy as he clashes with Dutch defender Ron Vlaar. That would be a royal rumble worth watching. Another injury for the Netherlands as Jordy Clasie is carried off by the medical staff, Joel Veltman given a slice of the action.”






More to follow…

Brazil 2014 World Cup | Netherlands vs. Argentina

Netherlands vs. Argentina

Hello everyone, as today’s match is the only match that is on, I wanted to make this blog feed the only blog feed for tonight, as the last 2 matches are on Saturday and Sunday. However, with this blog feed, I will be using BBC Sport to copy over football commentator‘s quotes, plus the pictures, and I’ll also add my own thoughts of the match into this feed, so that all 3 combine together.

Netherlands 2-4 Argentina (ET, THEN FULL TIME)

…and we have kick off!!! Let’s hope that tonight’s match is better than yesterday’s. This match needs to give as much energy back as it can from the match that was on yesterday.

Tom Rostance: “Argentina get us under way…Nigel de Jong is straight into the action as the Dutch line up with a back three, versatile Dirk Kuyt starting at right wing-back. Where will he end up? Who knows…Excellent run from Argentina midfielder Enzo Perez. beating two men on a forceful drive through the middle but he can’t quite pick out Lionel Messi on his shoulder. Decent opening in Sao Paulo. Fifa chief Sepp Blatter is enjoying himself anyway. Argentina settling into the rhythm early on, with Javier Mascherano dropping in as a third centre-half to start them off each time.”

Sepp Blatter

Credit: BBC Sport and AFP ©

Former England International, Chris Waddle (BBC Radio 5 Live): “Both teams very cautious, which you expect in the first five to 10 minutes. Both teams dropping off very quickly when the other gets possession.”

Tom Rostance: “Arjen Robben finds space on the corner of the area, danger here, and Pablo Zabaleta keeps an arm on him until the Dutchman leaves the box – then crunches him with a slide tackle! Great challenge.”

Mark Lawrenson (Match of the Day Analyst): “Zabaleta didn’t dare tackle Robben until he went out of the box – then he went for him. With his form over the best couple of seasons, Zabaleta is up there with the best right-backs in the world.”

Tom Rostance: “The Dutch now having a spell of keep-ball. Unfortunately for goal lovers, neither side look like having a Brazil-style meltdown in these early stages….Well in Dirk! The former Liverpool centre-forward finds himself as last man at right-back and shuts the door well on Lionel Messi. What a bizarre and brilliant career Kuyt has had. Who is the next striker to end up as a full-back? Fernando Torres?”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

El Chaja (Argentina): It’s not a team, it’s a country. It’s not 11, it’s 40 million playing in Brazil.

Leandro Palezzo (Argentina): In the streets of Buenos Aires there is a party mood. A lot of music, a lot of white and light-blue.

Aysen (Turkey): My heart would normally go with Argentina but my love for Dirk Kuyt is something else!

Chris Waddle: “Every time Argentina get the ball you can hear a lot of jeers, a lot of whistling, especially when Messi gets it.”

Lionel Messi

Credit: BBC Sport, Chris Waddle and Associated Press ©

Tom Rostance: “A pretty steady opening 10 minutes or so in Sao Paulo. A different sport to the end-to-end, thrill a minute opening last night. Give it time.Lovely! Gonzalo Higuain floats a lovely pass over the top, Enzo Perez runs it in from the right and is eventually tripped by Ron Vlaar. Free-kick for a certain Mr. Messi…Lionel Messi takes it, and drills it too, but Jasper Cillessen dives to his right and holds on! Good hands.”

Chris Waddle: “Messi went around the wall and not through it. Normally he goes over it but he tried catching the keeper out with the eyes. Give the keeper credit, he was in a superb position.”

Mark Lawrenson: “Jasper Cillessen’s positioning of the wall was excellent because he put the centre-backs in the wall and it meant Lionel Messi knew he couldn’t go over men of 6ft 3in, 6ft 4in. So he had to go over the other side.”

Phil McNulty (BBC Sport Chief Football Writer in Sao Paulo): “Early evidence suggests Nigel de Jong will be spending at least the next 90 minutes in close proximity to Lionel Messi.”

Tom Rostance: “Possession deadlocked at 50/50 so far as Gonzalo Higuain wins a corner for the min in blue and white. Argentina looking marginally more dangerous in the opening exchanges.”


Credit: BBC Sport ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

David: Argentina have worked out not to allow Netherlands to counter, getting back in numbers. Makes for a dull game though.

Bob: Both sides playing football chess, it’s brilliant. Neither side committing their queen!

Nathan Bright: Obviously we’re expecting this one to be closer than last night. I’d accept 6-1 Netherlands. Spoilt and hopeful?

Tom Rostance: “We were monumentally spoiled by last night’s semi-final. This is more like it, cagey, cautious, who’ll blink first stuff…”

Chris Waddle: “Cagey. I would say Argentina are the slightly better side and have more life and pace about them at the moment. They are running the game with quick breaks down the right but they can’t get bodies in the box. Holland look like they are feeling the effects of their last game against Costa Rica.”

Tom Rostance: “Better, that’s better! Twice Argentina move it out wide with first Ezequiel Lavezzi on the right, and then Enzo Perez finding space on the left. The final ball just isn’t up to scratch though. Corner. And that is a chance! Ezequiel Garay heads the corner over and gets a mouthful of Ron Vlaar’s size 12s into the bargain. Taste some leather. Bergkamp 98 revisited? Right idea as Nigel de Jong floats a long diagonal pass toward Robin van Persie, whose movement is superb, but Ezequiel Garay just about gets his forehead to the ball to nod it clear.The Dutch can go long when they need to. Oooof! Javier Mascherano heads the back of Georginio Wijnaldum’s head and is out on the deck. The ref quickly stops play and ushers on the medics, that is a nasty blow.”

Mark Lawrenson: “That’s what the Dutch front three of Robben, Sneijder and Van Persie can do. Everything looks comfortable, then bang. They’re in.”

Phil McNulty: “Argentina the team in control in these early stages as the Netherlands struggle to get their main attacking weapons Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben into the game. Louis van Gaal has a plan to stifle Lionel Messi of space and time – how that works will be crucial to the outcome.”

Tom Rostance: “After a few minutes on the sidelines Javier Mascherano is back with us. It looked like he was momentarily unconscious after that clash of heads. Let’s keep an eye on him.Twenty-four hours ago Germany had just made it 5-0…A good spell for the Dutch as they force Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero into two big punches, both good punches too, before Robin van Persie is offside.It’s a slow burner. I don’t think Javier Mascherano would make it the NFL if we’re being honest. He’s about eight stone underweight and two feet too small.”

Argentina v Netherlands

Credit: BBC Sport and Associated Press ©

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Hugh in France: First time I’ve seen Enzo Perez. Looks VERY good. Not Angel Di Maria, but offers lots of movement and neat passes.

Phil Hakim: In the NFL, Javier Mascherano would have a concussion test before being allowed back on the field. Football a joke in comparison.

Former England Captain, Gary Lineker: “Nigel De Jong is always within touching distance of Lionel Messi’s shirt. But looking at the size of the Dutchman, Messi may well be inside his shirt.”

Tom Rostance: “Arjen Robben. He’s been kept quieter than a monk so far, having just four touches of the ball. Fred-esque.”

Arjen Robben's touch map

Credit: BBC Sport ©

Chris Waddle: “Where is Robben? He’s not had the ball or driven at anyone he is playing against, he has just not touched the ball.”

Mark Lawrenson: “If Argentina are going to get any joy then it is down their right flank. The game is at the stage where no-one is really in charge of the game. While it is intriguing, nothing has happened. We’re waiting for this game to take off. Not seen much of Robben, Van Persie or Messi to a certain degree.”

Tom Rostance: “That should be a booking! The referees have gone very lenient at the World Cup and Martin Demichelis is lucky not to see yellow for a hack at Wesley Sneijder. I’d give this game a yellow so far. Must do better. ITV got the raw end of the deal when it came to broadcasting the semi-finals. On BBC One now is some sort of drama starring Neil from The Office…”

Mark Lawrenson: “Martins Indi has blocked Messi off – it should be a yellow. We want referees to keep players on the pitch but a booking is a booking. Whether it is the second minute or the 92nd minute it is a booking.”

Tom Rostance: “Dutch free-kick, easily defended. This is going to extra time for sure. Where it will change face and become gripping, end-to-end entertainment…”

Chris Waddle: “I expected Argentina to play like they have with a bit of possession and try to get Messi and Lavezzi on the ball. Holland, I expected more from. Van Persie has not been in the game, neither has Robben or Sneijder really.”

Argentina v Netherlands

Credit: BBC Sport, Chris Waddle and AFP ©

Tom Rostance: “That is a booking this time. Bruno Martins Indi is booked for checking the run of Lionel Messi. Can this lead to a chance?”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Luke Gwalchmai: Is this as boring as I think it is or were we just spoiled yesterday?

Anthony Shaw: You watching Brazil? This is how to defend. This is what a World Cup semi-final looks like.

Ken Gorry: Game needs an Argentina goal, if the Dutch score they’ll never go past the halfway line.

Chris Waddle: “Martins Indi likes collecting those cards.”

Tom Rostance: “That is an opening! Lionel Messi picks the Dutch apart with a wonderful pass out to the left, Dirk Kuyt is out of position but Marcos Rojo stuffs up his cross, planting it way too far. Poor half lads…”

Chris Waddle: “Very disappointing. Argentina slightly the better side without making any chances. There has been nothing to talk about. I wonder how Van Gaal will feel about this. He normally changes things but they have to get Robben into the game.”

Tom Rostance: “Arjen Robben has a smile to someone as they come off. He gets nearer to the ball in the tunnel then he did for most of that half. Netherlands fans watch the action in the market square in Groningen. Not quite sure what they are so gripped by in this first half.”


Credit: BBC Sport and AFP ©


Tom Rostance: “The Dutch kick off, and Dirk Kuyt is now on the left wing.”

Golf legend Gary Player tweets: Half time at the World Cup. #ARGvNED. No one has scored yet. Not even Germany.

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Chris Gilbert: You would expect both teams to take more risks in the second half. Neither team will want it to come to a shootout.

Who fights monkeys: Who would want to get to a final against Germany the way they’re playing at the moment?

Arthur Veldhoen: I’m beginning to think a gentle beating by Argentina would be highly preferable to what the Germans would do to us in the final.

Tom Rostance: “Referees are not having bookings in the World Cup are they? Another clattering challenge from Stefan de Vrij goes unchecked. Play on!”

Mark Lawrenson: “That substitution means Daley Blind will play as the third centre-back, with Daryl Janmaat at right-back and Dirk Kuyt switching over the the left. Everyone else will stay the same.”


Tom Rostance: “Have it! Smashed away into the stands by Ezequiel Garay, under no pressure, but he’s not having a David Luiz meltdown, he’s actually smart as his boot had come off. Get rid. The Dutch finally get the ball to Arjen Robben and he goes down, with Martin Demichelis in the book to boot. Javier Mascherano slides in Lionel Messi down the sides – but he’s offside. Almost a glimpse of danger for Argentina. A picture paints a thousand words…”

Netherlands' fans

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Tom Rostance: “Apparently Tim Krul was out practicing penalties at half time. Will the Newcastle man be the key protagonist again this evening? Lionel Messi has resorted to taking the ball from his centre-halves now. He then picks it up 30 yards out for the first time, he runs at Ron Vlaar – who stops him in his tracks with a great tackle! Who is the Ron Vlaar lookalike who plays for Aston Villa?”

Chris Waddle: “It’s just so poor for quality. Anybody who puts pressure on the ball seems to win it. The passing is so slack.”

Mark Lawrenson: “This game has reached the point of no return. Someone has got to say, ‘come on, let’s have a go’. There’s a place in the final at stake.”


Credit: BBC Sport, Mark Lawrenson and Associated Press ©

Tom Rostance: “That’s better! Ezequiel Lavezzi spins out wide to the right, stands up Ron Vlaar and then puts over a decent cross for Gonzalo Higuain to attack but he can’t get a free header on it under pressure from Daryl Janmaat. That was more like it though.”

Mark Pougatch (BBC Radio 5 Live): “Is this the same Ron Vlaar who played at Aston Villa last season or has he been taken over by an alien being?”

Tom Rostance: “Into the final third. Which is where this game falls apart. Does anyone want to win this? The Dutch make a change as Nigel de Jong is replaced by Jordy Clasie. A really heavy tackle in midfield has left Lucas Biglia in a heap on the floor. He went knee to knee with Daryl Janmaat and we have an extended break for treatment. Get a striker on in his place!”

Chris Waddle: “He followed through, did Daryl Janmaat. A clash of knees and Biglia took the brunt of it.”

Tom Rostance: “Nobody likes a follow through. But Lucas Biglia is going to re-appear, as the rain lashes down in Sao Paulo now. Shoot on sight?”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Brian Capaloff: German squad must be laughing into their beers as they watch this. Neither team great and extra-time beckons!

Abdul Karim: Can we just move on to penalties, nothing to see here.

Neal Collins: Next thing you know, you’ll wake up and Tim Krul will be warming up.

Phil McNulty: “Could dress this one up as a chess match or intriguing tactical battle – but for the most part it continues to be a dull stalemate lacking a spark of inspiration. Argentina and the Netherlands have players more than capable but this World Cup semi-final has so far failed to offer them that opportunity.”


Credit: BBC Sport ©

Tom Rostance: “Argentina boss Alex Sabella is out bellowing instructions to his side before Daley Blind sprays a pass out of play, 25 yards behind his team-mates. Somewhere, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona sit in a darkened room. Johan’s just opened the second bottle of Scotch. Another injury! Daryl Janmaat, who has been heavily involved since coming on, takes a whack to the face and requires treatment.”

Chris Bevan (BBC Sport): “Just one sub left for the Dutch. Tim Krul hoping no injuries in the next hour if this game is going to go the distance, as it appears…”

Tom Rostance: “Seventy minutes into a damp squib. In need of inspiration – this is where Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo or Tony Daley would find that spark and change the game. I’m looking at you Lionel Messi. Or you Arjen Robben. Can you change it?”

Phil McNulty: “Lots of fans have taken shelter under the temporary, uncovered stands here at Arena de Sao Paulo. It means they cannot actually see any of this World Cup semi-final – and at this stage they are not missing much.”

Chris Waddle: “This game has never come to life. No one gets hold of the ball, there’s no movement.”

Tom Rostance: “Robin van Persie hooks an effort over, his first chance of the night, but he was offside. We have had just one shot on target all evening, that early free-kick from Lionel Messi. There it is! The one big chance of the game, but Gonzalo Higuain can’t take it. Enzo Perez gets away on the right and bends in a lovely early cross, Higuain is across his marker but stabs the ball into the side-netting. So near, and yet so far…You’ve got to feel for these fans in Sao Paulo – they’re having to watch this match twice.”

Mark Lawrenson: “People at the far end thought it was in. They saw the net billow.”

Fans in Sao Paulo

Credit: BBC Sport and Associated Press ©

Alan Green (Commentating on the match from BBC Radio 5 Live): “I’m tempted to say please save us from extra time because it has been torture watching.”

Tom Rostance: “Twelve minutes left. But in reality it’s at least 42. This is nailed on for extra time.”

Arjen Robben

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Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Aamir Mir: So to nullify a counter-attacking team, you need to play like Argentina. Then you end up with a boring spectacle like this.

Barry Fong: Maybe I missed them but I don’t think the crowd can even muster a Mexican wave.

Dan Hedley: Says a lot when Ron Vlaar is the best player on a pitch with Arjen Robben and Lionel Messi.

Tom Rostance: “Sergio Aguero is coming on. Spark it up son…Two strikers on for Argentina. Enzo Perez and Gonzalo Higuain come off, Rodrigo Palacio and Sergio Aguero on.”

Dan Walker (BBC Sport): “Both managers currently tossing a coin to see who has to bring on David Luiz and who Marcelo. That’ll make it interesting.”

Tom Rostance: “Seven minutes of normal time left. Extra time has been good at this World Cup. Remember that.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Shoaib: What are the odds a certain someone provides us with an ‘Agueroooooooooo’ moment..?

Tom Rostance: “That. Is a shot. A genuine shot on target from Argentina left-back Marcos Rojo. An easy save for Jasper Cillessen but at least he had a dig. Four minutes to go. Germany could score four in that time. Will we get one? Lionel Messi beats a man but Ron Vlaar shuts the door on him, before cutting out another pass. Vlaar for the Golden Ball.”



Credit: BBC Sport ©

Tom Rostance: “Into the last minute. And what a chance! Arjen Robben suddenly is in right through on goal, but he takes a bad touch and Javier Mascherano is able to make a brilliant block. Huge chance! Arjen Robben has missed some big chances in big games down the years. That was right up there with them. Score and the Netherlands are in their second successive final…”


Former England Captain, Rio Ferdinand: “Ron Vlaar has been immense. Best centre-back performance of the tournament so far for me.”

Alan Green: “An apology of a football match. Abysmal.”

Tom Rostance: “Will they make it two in a row? They looked the most likely in the final stages. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was warming up too. The Argentina players look fresher, if that means anything. Coach Alex Sabella has them in a huddle and is pointing to Lionel Messi a lot. Give the ball to him!

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Some Body: Arjen Robben! That penultimate touch took it away from him. Lost ticket to the final.

Will Scott: Pretty much every Dutch pass has been backwards. So negative from Netherlands.

Richard Lee: You can see the tension on the pitch. Come on Lionel Messi, show us your magic!

Phil McNulty: “Ninety minutes no-one will ever get back there. At least the prospect of the re-emergence of Netherlands substitute keeper Tim Krul for a possible penalty shootout adds extra intrigue to extra-time. And as far as Dutch coach Louis van Gaal is concerned his plan to subdue Lionel Messi – first with Nigel de Jong then Jordy Clasie – has worked so far. And what a performance in the Dutch defence from Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar.”


Match stats

Credit: BBC Sport ©

Tom Rostance: “No. That’s not the one, as Dirk Kuyt overcooks a cross from the left and out of play. Lionel Messi’s quest to join Pele and Diego Maradona at football’s top table is taking a backward step this evening. Anonymous in the shadow of Ron Vlaar. So no Tim Krul then as Louis van Gaal replaces Robin van Persie with Klaas Jan Huntelaar. That did the job against Mexico, can it work again?”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Emma Cann: If this match was Test cricket, they’d be calling it ‘one for the purists’.

James Gallagher: Brazil v Germany was like a 20-20 cricket classic, this has been a Mike Brearley – Geoff Boycott opening stand.

Tom Rostance: “Argentina have one change left, the Dutch are done. I’m not going to lie to you, this is turgid stuff. SHOT ON TARGET! The Dutch have their first attempt on target in the 98th minute as Arjen Robben warms the palms of Sergio Romero from 30 yards. Comfortable enough but at least it was an attempt. The final change of the game and Liverpool fans from 2009-10 can enjoy the sight of Dirk Kuyt running at Maxi Rodriguez, who is on to replace Ezequiel Lavezzi. I rather unkindly suggested earlier in the tournament that a Dutch side containing Ron Vlaar could not be good enough to win the World Cup. Mr. Vlaar, I apologise. You’re the best player on the pitch. By a country mile. Ole, Ole, Ole Ole! Messi! Messi!” is the chant around the Arena de Sao Paulo as the crowd hope for the number 10 to do something to raise himself from the midfield mire. Penalties are on the horizon. It’s probably the only hope.”


Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©


Credit: BBC Sport and AFP ©

Tom Rostance: “It’s quarter past 11 on a work night. I applaud you for staying up.”


Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Al Mamun Russell: It now has been 227 minutes since the last goal scored by Netherlands. Don’t deserve to be a finalist!

Steven F Galloway: I’d still much rather watch this semi-final. Last night’s was over as a contest after 25 minutes. THAT’S boring.

Tom Rostance: “Pablo Zabaleta is down in a heap after an other head-to-head challenge. And ouch! A shoulder to the jaw, he may have lost a tooth! Steven Galloway, there’s a certain type of football fan who love games like this. You are in company with our colleague Andy Cryer, who is loving this. “You don’t get soft South Americans,” says Lawro, who is proven right as Pablo Zabaleta comes back on. Bit of cotton wool in his mouth, and get on with it.”

Chris Waddle: “He is a tough boy Zabaleta so it will take a lot to get him off this pitch.”


Credit: BBC Sport ©

Richard, Putney (via text): Good to see Ron Vlaar get some plaudits. The guy isn’t a world beater by any means but on his day is a good player. Problem is in our Aston Villa side he looks worse because the rest of our team is terrible. The current squad would even make Lionel Messi look poor in it. But not as much as in this game.

Mark Lawrenson: “Sergio Aguero has been very poor since he came on – he has been completely out of sorts.”

Tom Rostance: “Into the last 10 minutes or so. Stefan de Vrij shoots from 35 yards, with his wrong foot. You’re going nowhere Netherlands! You’re on the ring road. Third time round. You’ve just been into B&Q for a bag of tungsten-tipped screws. Never gonna use ‘em. Never gonna use ‘em. If both teams could go through with a 0-0 draw you may be tempted to accuse the sides of playing for a draw. Bu they can’t. So I won’t. This is exhaustingly poor.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Christopher Harvey: Louis van Gaal a tactical genius? Has the Premier League changed the rules to allow extra-time? I can’t see Manchester United getting three points otherwise.


Credit: BBC Sport and the EPA ©

Tom Rostance: “Chance! In a game of such precious few, this is a real opening. Substitute Rodrigo Palacio is in, he hesitates and can’t get any power in his header…”

Chris Waddle: “Why didn’t he just lob the keeper with his head? He headed it straight at him. all he had to do was put a little bit of height on it.”

Phil McNulty: “And still no sign of a breakthrough. There could not be a more stark contrast with last night’s World Cup semi-final between Brazil and Germany than this dour, attritional, dull affair. Not much time left for the main creators Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben to spare the Argentine and Dutch fans the tension of penalties for a place in the World Cup final.”

Tom Rostance: “Before we get to penalties, why not brush up on your shootout trivia. Did you know that on average 71% of kicks are scored? Who has saved the most? How many have been taken with the left foot? Read up on our guide here. Another half chance as Lionel Messi beats his man out on the right and stands it up, it’s a difficult chance but a chance for Maxi Rodriguez, but he fluffs his lines and mishits it into the turf. Remember his brilliant goal against Mexico in 2006? So does he. The least these two can do now is give us a shootout. Dirk! Kuyt has a half chance in the final minute but his shot is blocked. It looks like spot-kicks.”


Credit: BBC Sport ©

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Armando Maya Castro (Mexico): Netherlands v Argentina: A homage to boredom.

Chris Waddle: “Looking at how the game went, we should have started with penalty kicks.”


Credit: BBC Sport ©

Tom Rostance: “The Dutch scored all four from the spot against Costa Rica last Saturday night. Argentina won their last semi-final on penalties, in Italy 24 years ago. I’m not sure either side deserve to be in the final…Javier Mascherano is deep in conversation with goalkeeper Sergio Romero. “Save some!””

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Midsibmike: And the match finally comes to life as we move to penalties.

Doug: Here we go then semi-final lotto…

Tom Rostance: “Here we go then. Penalties…”

GOAL SAVED!!! (Ron Vlaar)

Argentina score a 0-1 goal strike against the Netherlands on penalties (Lionel Messi).

The Netherlands score a 1-1 goal strike against Argentina, bringing the score into an equaliser (Arjen Robben).

Argentina score a 1-2 goal strike against the Netherlands (Ezequiel Garay).

Tom Rostance: “What a save! Romero flings himself full-length to his right and beats the ball away. Big trouble for the Dutch now.”