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Sat. 4th July:
What is it about Argentina that they have to cheat their way through major games? They were at again, but this time justice was done. Maybe next time they'll show the world that they can play football without the antics.
Kluivert was back after suspension for the quarter-final against an Argentina with a rehabilitated Sensini.
Both teams started positively with Wim Jonk hitting the post in the 5th minute. A ridiculous yellow card for Stam in the 10th minute. Ortega was grabbing the Dutchman's nuts before Stam pushed his arm away, and the fake hit the floor for the second time.
Holland's first goal was out of the textbook: Ronald De Boer came through three defenders to cross for Bergkamp, who headed back to Kluivert, to slip under Roa and make up for his suspension.
Veron came close to equalizing in the 17th minute, and then on his next move sent Lopez through the offside trap to poke the ball under Van der Sar's leg. The Argentinean fans could sing at last.
Davids was given far too much room to run through half the field before firing wide. On the half-hour, Kluivert played a delicate one-touch to Davids; saved by Roa's right foot.
Ortega was diving a little too much, and even fell over over when no one was near him. A habit is hard to break, or maybe the wind was too much for the paper bag.
The Argentinean defence looked like Englands; an organized chaos -- with six or seven players closing in around the semi-circle to fend off Holland's advancing touch football.
An Argentina corner in the 37th minute was played back to Veron, who passed to Ortega in the middle -- cracked against the post from well outside the area. (Half-time: 1-1)
Just when Argentina seemed to have lost organization, Veron took the ball out of their half and released Batistuta. Always dangerous when he looks out of the game, Batigol thumped his shot against the post in the 63rd minute. Kluivert's header was pushed over the bar in the same minute.
When Overmars came on, Daniel Passarella replied with Pineda on to mark him.
Then Holland lost Numan in the 76th minute. Simeone might have been fouled, but his rolling made matters look worse; this man has a habit of getting players sent off, and probably practises his art while others work at the free-kicks he wins for them. It is not enough that Argentina couldn't score against ten Englishman for 75 minutes, they needed to get rid one of the Dutch too.
In the 87th minute, Ortega made one dive too many. He failed in his attempt to con the referee for a penalty and then head-butted Van Der Sar. This time Ortega got the red, and rightly too.
Two minutes later justice was finally done and Argentina
were out of the tournament. A long ball came into the Argentinean area, Bergkamp
controlled the ball around Ayala to score for genuine football fans around the world.
Suker's overacting, in the 40th minute, cost Germany the game. Wörns was sent off, and Jarni scored for Croatia just before half-time.
The Germans couldn't come back on level terms, and Croatia made the score
a little too flattering in the last ten minutes. Vlaovic
and Suker ended the World Cup aspirations of
the European Champions.
to the Final:
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