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International Football

Key facts ahead of Argentina versus Netherlands duel



Doha, State of Qatar

The teams have met five times before at the FIFA World Cup. The most notable encounter was the 1978 final, which Argentina won 3-1 after extra time in Buenos Aires to lift the trophy for the first time.

The South American side also came out on top in the most recent fixture, 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the 2014 semi-final, when Louis van Gaal was also in charge of the Oranje.

The Netherlands have won their last three FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, including 2-1 against Argentina at France ’98, after losing their first, whereas Argentina’s record at this stage is three victories and four losses.

One of those losses, versus Germany in 2010, was their second 4-0 defeat at the FIFA World Cup, the first having been against the Netherlands in 1974

The last two World Cup matches between the Netherlands and Argentina finished without a goal being scored (2006 group stage and 2014 semi-finals).

• The Netherlands have not lost in their last 11 FIFA World Cup matches (Won 8; Drew 3) – all with Louis van Gaal as coach. This is their longest unbeaten run in the history of the competition.


• The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 19 international matches (Won 14; Drew 5); all since Louis van Gaal was appointed head coach in August 2021.

• The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 20 FIFA World Cup matches against non-European opponents (Won 14; Drew 6), with their last defeat dating back to the quarter-final against Brazil in 1994.

• Argentina have lost only one of their last 40 international matches (Won 28; Drew 11).

• Lionel Messi has scored nine World Cup goals and is now only one behind Gabriel Batistuta (10), who is Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer in the competition.

• Argentina have scored the first goal in each of their previous four matches at Qatar 2022.


• Seven of Argentina’s last 13 World Cup knockout stage matches against European nations have required extra time

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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