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Sports News of Thursday, 10 July 2014


Argentina proved people wrong - Sergio Aguero

Striker Sergio Aguero believes Argentina have proved people wrong by reaching Sunday's World Cup final against Germany.

The Manchester City forward, 26, was a second-half substitute asArgentina beat the Netherlands on penalties in Wednesday's semi-final.

"A lot of people didn't think Argentina would get to the final but we knew what players we had, very good players individually," he said.

"This means so much."

The two teams played out a tense goalless 120 minutes before Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero blocked shots by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder to help win the shootout.

Lionel Messi, Ezequiel Garay and Aguero were all on target for the South Americans from the spot before former Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez slotted home the winning penalty.

"We know the pain we have been through, and we deserved some kind of happiness," said Rodriguez, 33.

"Now we have to play the final but that is what we have dreamed of ever since we left Buenos Aires. We must make the most of it and let's hope that the last 90 minutes are on our side.

"I dedicate this is to my family and all of Argentina, to everyone who is crying like us, who have had a dream since they were little and now might be able to see it fulfilled."

Germany reached Sunday's showpiece by thrashing host nation Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday to set up a final against Argentina for a record third time.

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said his players were "sore, beaten and tired" after reaching their fifth World Cup final in a bid for a third victory.

"We could do with a couple more days to rest, but what is important is that we made it to the final," said coach Alejandro Sabella . "Let's see how we handle it.

"It is the result of a 'war' and we will give you the full report as to the casualties tomorrow."

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was Romero's boss at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar and Van Gaal joked after the match that he had taught Romero how to save penalties.

Romero's place in the team was the subject of debate going into the tournament after he spent almost all of the last season on the substitutes' bench at French Ligue 1 club Monaco.

"I went to the dressing room to thank Van Gaal," said Romero, 27. "He is someone who helped me a lot when I arrived in Holland,

"So just as I am grateful to Alejandro Sabella, I am also grateful to Van Gaal for everything he did for me."