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Netherlands v Argentina: Four World Cup classics

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Dutch midfield legend Johann Cruyff dribbles past Argentinian goalkeeper Daniel Carnevali to score in their World Cup quarter-final in West Germany on June 26, 1974. Cruyff scored twice as the Netherlands beat Argentina 4-0. AFP

Netherlands v Argentina: Four World Cup classics

Lionel Messi's bid for a first World Cup continues on Friday night when Argentina take on the Netherlands (at 2am Cambodian time) in a hotly anticipated quarter-final in Qatar that is also a replay of some classic matches.

Here we look at four World Cup clashes between Argentina and the Netherlands.

1974: Cruyff and co put on a show

Argentina could do nothing to stop a wave of Total Football that came at them from the first whistle and didn't let up until the very end, when even a 4-0 scoreline was less than the dominant Dutch deserved.

Johan Cruyff was at the peak of his powers and both opened and closed the scoring in a magical team display which highlighted the cutting-edge tactics that would go on to influence football for decades to come.

The Netherlands helped knock out Argentina in the second group stage and advance to the final, where the new gods of the game were brought down to earth by Gerd Muller and hosts West Germany.

1978: Dutch fail again as junta celebrates

Missing Cruyff, who was subjected to a kidnapping attempt before the tournament, the Netherlands lost their second straight final against a host nation. This time it was to Argentina at a World Cup used by the country's military junta to boost its image.

Allegations of match-fixing and political pressure favouring Argentina flew throughout the tournament but a tense, at times violent contest would have been settled in the Netherlands' favour had Rob Rensenbrink's last-minute shot not crashed out off the post.

Argentina claimed their first World Cup in extra-time thanks to their star man Mario Kempes, who had opened the scoring in normal time and put the hosts back in front to take his tournament tally to six, sending his team to a 3-1 win.

1998: Bergkamp magic settles classic

Dennis Bergkamp scored plenty of spectacular goals in his career but few match the importance of his last-minute winner in their 2-1 quarter-final victory over Argentina in Marseille in 1998.

The Dutch had a fearsome line-up featuring Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer brothers, as well as Edgar Davids in midfield and the almost unbeatable Edwin van der Sar in goal.

An entertaining contest in which both sides struck the woodwork looked to have swung the Argentines' way when Arthur Numan was sent off for chopping down Diego Simeone.

But Ariel Ortega was then shown a red card after diving for a penalty and then somehow managing to headbutt the towering Van der Sar.

The game appeared to be drifting into extra-time under blistering heat.

But that all changed when Frank de Boer picked out Bergkamp with a peach of a long pass and the Arsenal frontman did the rest, bringing the ball down before cutting inside and jabbing home one of the great World Cup goals.

2014: Penalty triumph puts Argentina in final

Louis van Gaal was coach eight years ago when the Netherlands missed out on the Brazil final following a penalty shoot-out defeat to their old foes.

Van Gaal had Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie at his disposal while peak Messi was on the field for Argentina, but the two teams cancelled each other out in a match of few opportunities.

Ron Vlaar missed the Dutch's first penalty and Wesley Sneijder handed Argentina the chance for victory by missing their third, the final World Cup act of his career.

Argentina would go on to lose to Germany in the final and their World Cup drought now stands at 36 years, while the Dutch only returned to the tournament eight years later.


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