Dutch coach Louis van Gaal  (second left) looks on during the the semi-final against Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo.  Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Traditional Dutch frailty in penalty shootouts again proved their Achilles heel when they lost 4-2 on spot-kicks to Argentina after a goalless World C(...)

Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero saves a penalty kick by Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo. Photograph: Michael Dalder / Reuters

Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (Argentina win 4-2 on penalties)All night long through what was a disappointing semi-final, the Argentine fans revelled in t(...)

Netherlands’ coach Louis van Gaal talks with his players during a training session one day before their World Cup semi-final soccer match against Argentina at the Paulo Machado de Carvalho Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photograph:  Manu Fernandez/AP

Won’t somebody think of the children? Thankfully someone did at Louis van Gaal’s press conference in São Paulo yesterday, when the manager was asked w(...)

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal congratulates goalkeeper Tim Krul after a penalty shootout in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals against Costa Rica   at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. Photograph: Sergio Moraes / Reuters

Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0 Netherlands win 4-3 on penalties Romance departed the World Cup in Brazil on Saturday night but not without a fight (...)

Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates after scoring during the penalty shootout against Greece. Photograph: EPA

Ahead of a first appearance in the quarter-finals all Costa Rica is dreaming of glory And rather than any signs of nervousness at the exalted c(...)

Arjen Robben (left) reacts after a tackle during the Fifa World Cup match against Mexico. He conceded that he did dive but not for the penalty. Photograph: Vassil Donev/Epa

Arjen Robben courted further controversy at the World Cup by insisting he was fouled for the penalty that led to Holland’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Mexi(...)

 Arjen Robben of the Netherlands (C) is fouled  by Rafael Marquez of Mexico  at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. Photograph: EPA

He doesn’t so much walk into the press conference as accuse his way in. Only minutes earlier Louis van Gaal has watched his players achieve a comebac(...)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of the Netherlands celebrates scoring the winner against Mexico in the second round of the  World Cup at Castelao   in Fortaleza, Brazil. Photograph:  Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Netherlands 2 Mexico 1 We thought it was, plain and simple, too hot for football. Then Mexico scored and, in the burning heat of the second hal(...)

Leroy Fer scores  powers home his header against Chile. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Netherlands 2 Chile 0Caught between the knowledge that both teams were already qualified and the risk that Brazil could lie in wait for the loser the (...)

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands  celebrates his goal against Spain with coach Louis van Gaal at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador. Photo: Michael Dalder/Reuters

The Netherlands have a lovely problem on their hands. How on earth do you follow a 5-1 victory over Spain? Australia are about to find out, alt(...)

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