SAO PAULO - Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved two penalties in a shootout with the Netherlands on Wednesday to take his country through to the World Cup final for the first time since 1990.
Lionel Messi's Argentina beat the Dutch 4-2 in a penalty shootout after their cagey semi-final in Sao Paulo finished goalless. They play Germany in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro.
The drab match was the polar opposite of Germany's 7-1 annihilation of Brazil in the first semi-final 24 hours earlier. But Romero, who barely played for his Monaco club side last season settled matters by repelling spot-kicks from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.
It was the second time that Holland, who lost the 2010 final to Spain, were beaten on penalties in a World Cup semi-final. They fell to Brazil in 1998.
"We have given everything and I'm incredibly proud of this team," Dutch star striker Arjen Robben said after.
"It came down to penalties and they simply did better," he told Dutch broadcaster NOS. "To lose like this simply sucks, it hurts."