Argentina and Netherlands faced off in a match that would decide who joined Germany in the final of the 2014 world cup finals.
The pre-match talk was all about both teamsâ€™ talisman, Messi and Robben and who would make the bigger difference to see his team to the final.
Both teams made changes to their starting eleven from the previous game with De Jong coming in for Netherlands with Rojo and Perez the two changes to the Argentinian first eleven.
The first few minutes were tight with neither teams creating any clear cut chances on goal. The Dutch had the first chance on goal but Sneidjerâ€™s effort went comfortably wide off the post.
Messi tried getting a goal from a free kick in the 15th minute but the Dutch keeper was on hand to deny the Argentinesâ€™ captain.
The Argentines looked the more likely of the two teams to get a goal as Garay headed over the bar from a Lavezzi corner but neither of the teams could find the important first goal going into the break.
The second half began as the first with chances far and few.
Napoliâ€™s Higuan almost had a chance at getting a goal but thanks to a Dutch playerâ€™s block he couldnâ€™t get to Lavezziâ€™s cross.
The Argentine striker was having the most of the few opportunities but he could not capitalize on them.
Robbenâ€™s chance to be the hero came in the dying minutes of the game. The Bayern Munich made a trademark run on goal following a deflection on the edge of the area but Argentinaâ€™s Mascherano denied him the headlines by making a last ditch clearance.
This meant that the game would end in a barren draw and set up extra time and possibly penalties.
Robben had the first chance in extra time but Argentinaâ€™s Romero was on hand to save his effort following the wingerâ€™s run from the right.
The extra time took on the same show as normal time with both teams failing to find the back of the net from the few chances that came through and this set up penalties to decide who would go through to the final.
The Dutch had beaten Costa Rica on penalties and most of the talk from that game was the decision by the Dutch coach to bring on Newcastleâ€™s Tim Krul in the dying minutes of the game. They didnâ€™t have a chance to do the same in this game having exhausted all their substitutions and it was up to Cillesen to try and match his compatriotâ€™s heroics.
The Argentines were clinical with their spot kicks and Romero was the hero this time round saving two of the Dutch penalties to send his team through to the finals.
Netherlands now face a wounded Brazilian team in the third place playoff on Saturday as Argentina can now look forward to a final with the European power house Germany.