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Jul 9, 2014

Reaction: "Where are the goals?!"

Argentina are just 90 minutes away from lifting the World Cup in the Maracana after they edged past the Netherlands on penalties, 4-2.

After Tuesday's football insanity, Wednesday's semifinal between Netherlands and Argentina saved all of its drama until the last possible moment: penalties. Lionel Messi and Argentina beat Arjen Robben and the Dutch 0-0 (4-2) to advance to Sunday's World Cup final.

Here is a snack-sized portion of reaction from the match:

Pre-match: The anticipation

Despite another set of teams, many couldn't stop making comparison's to Germany's 7-1 victory against host Brazil in the tournament's other semifinal:

First half: The disappointment

As play wore on in the first half, the Twitterverse grew more and more impatience with Netherlands and Argentina:

The first big play of the match was Messi's free-kick opportunity in the 14th minute:

Javier Mascherano knocked heads with Georginio Wijnaldum on a header play during the 27th minute. While there was no confirmation on whether or not Mascherano had a significant injury, the incident again sparked the heated debate over concussions and FIFA regulations:

ESPN's Taylor Twellman questions whether Argentina's Javier Mascherano should have been cleared to continue playing after clashing heads with Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum.

The posts were getting restless:

Halftime: Pleas for goals

Translation in any language: nervous.

More halftime reaction:

Second half: 'Goals? Pleeeeeease?!'

Did someone say Herrera?!?!

OK, OK, we're sorry ... back to the match.

Outside of a Robin van Persie bicycle-kick attempt and a close call for Argentina after Gonzalo Higuaín called offside on La Albiceleste's best look of the day, most seemed resigned for extra time:

Extra time: Countdown to Krul?

Outside of many tweets (groans) over extra time, many wanted another Tim Krul outing, but Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal ended those hopes in the 96th minute when he used his third and last sub:

And later, Argentina reached their limit, too:

Late in extra time, some called out Messi's performance, or lack thereof:

Penalties: No Krul! Boo! Hiss!

From a world-class sprinter ...

To a ball ...

Everyone was on the edge of their seats for the penalty shootout. But Argentina had their plan:

And how would that plan play out? Watch:

Watch the entire penalty shootout as Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero stops two spot kicks to guide his team to a World Cup final berth.

FT: Argentina wins on penalties 0-0 (4-2)

And finally ...

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