Jul 9, 2014 at 9pm UK at ​Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
Netherlands
0-0
Argentina

Martins Indi (44'), Huntelaar (105')
FT

Demichelis (48')
Argentina win 4-2 on penalties

Half-Time Report: Defences on top in Sao Paulo stalemate between Argentina and Netherlands

Argentina and Netherlands are goalless at half time in their World Cup semi-final, with neither Arjen Robben nor Lionel Messi yet having a major influence on the game.

There was to be no repeat of Tuesday's first-half goal glut in the opening 45 minutes of the second World Cup semi-final between Netherlands and Argentina, as the two sides went into the break goalless.

Netherlands' defender Bruno Martins Indi watches as Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi controls the ball past Netherlands' defender Daley Blind during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena© Getty Images

Germany had already put five past hapless Brazil at this stage yesterday evening, but the defences were on top in Sao Paulo, in the match that will decide who faces Joachim Low's side in Sunday's final.

Argentina have had the better of the chances, with Lionel Messi striking a low free kick straight at Jasper Cillessen - maintained in the Dutch goal despite Tim Krul's penalty-shootout heroics.

Later in the period, Ezequiel Garay headed a 23rd-minute corner over the crossbar while under pressure from Ron Vlaar, who, as well as Robin van Persie, was passed fit for Netherlands prior to kickoff.

Van Persie and the Dutch's other talismanic attacker, Arjen Robben, have been kept quiet thus far, with Javier Mascherano attempting to stifle the latter by man-marking him at close quarters.

Javier Mascherano of Argentina receives treatment after a collision during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014© Getty Images

This tactic nearly cost Holland as, after retreating to dispossess Robben, Mascherano's sloppy pass found Wesley Sneijder, whose instinctive 40-yard shot had Sergio Romero worried before it went wide.

Mascherano was nearly forced off midway through the half after clashing heads with Georginio Wijnaldum, but, after a stretcher was called for, the Barcelona midfielder returned to the field largely unscathed.

Netherlands players celebrate after defeating Costa Rica in a penalty shootout during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2014
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