World Cup 2022

Netherlands vs Argentina: four most memorable meetings


Netherlands and Argentina will go head-to-head on Friday night at Lusail Iconic Stadium in a World Cup quarter-final.

That will be their sixth meeting at the World Cup, the most famous of which came in the final 44 years ago.

This article looks back at those four most memorable meetings; a rather inconsequential 0-0 draw during the 2006 group stages hasn’t made the cut.

Netherlands vs Argentina: Head to head World Cup record

Netherlands wins: 2. Argentina wins: 2. Draws: 1.

Netherlands vs Argentina: Five World Cup meetings

9 July 2014. Argentina 0-0 Netherlands; 4-2 penalties. World Cup semi-final. Arena Corinthians.

21 June 2006. Netherlands 0-0 Argentina. World Cup group stages. Waldstadion.

4 July 1998. Netherlands 2-1 Argentina. World Cup quarter-final. Stade Vélodrome.

25 June 1978. Argentina 3-1 Netherlands. World Cup Final. Estadio Monumental.

26 June 1974. Argentina 0-4 Netherlands. World Cup second round group stage. Parkstadion.

Argentina 3-1 Netherlands: World Cup Final 1978.

It can’t get any bigger than a World Cup Final can it?

Well, how about the chance to win the World Cup for the very first time, on home soil as well?

The 1978 was, rather controversially, hosted by Argentina, coming just two years after the coup d’état, which left the military junta in charge.

With this unsavoury backdrop, la Albiceleste got all the way to the final, thanks to some favourable refereeing, and a rather suspicious 6-0 win over Peru, that dumped out Brazil on goal difference.

On paper, Netherlands were favourites to prevail in Buenos Aires, but that was never how it was going to turn out.

Mario Kempes broke the deadlock at Estadio Monumental, only for Dick Nanninga to equaliser right at the death.

Nevertheless, in extra time, Kempes bagged his second of the night, before Daniel Bertoni ensured Argentina would be world champions for the very first time.

For Oranje, this result ensured their golden generation never won major silverware, and is one of three World Cup finals in which Holland have tasted defeat.

Netherlands 2-1 Argentina: World Cup quarter-final 1998

20 years after that final clash in Buenos Aires, these two would meet again, this time in a quarter-final at Stade Vélodrome.

Argentina came into this clash in red-hot form, having won all three group matches and then edged out England on penalties.

Netherlands meanwhile had only won once in the group phase, this against South Korea, before needing a stoppage time winner to oust FR Yugoslavia.

This game in Marseille enjoyed a frenetic start, with Patrick Kluivert breaking the deadlock early, only for Claudio López to equalise mere moments later.

Both ended the game with ten-men; Arthur Numan dismissed first, before Ariel Ortega is also given his marching order.

With extra time seemingly on the cards, one of the greatest World Cup goals of all-time snatched victory.

Frank de Boer plays a long pass forward, Dennis Bergkamp takes the most exquisite first touch, nutmegs Roberto Ayala before poking the ball past Carlos Roa with the outside of his boot.

A goal worthy of winning any game and, in this incidence, Bergkamp’s brilliance sent Holland through to the semi-finals.

Argentina 0-0 Netherlands; 4-2 penalties: World Cup semi-final 2014

In truth, this semi-final clash from 2014 wasn’t the most thrilling match in World Cup history.

Netherlands had just one shot on target all night, to Argentina’s four, with it finishing goalless after over two hours of play.

So, and this is the reason why knockout football is so exciting, the game was to be settled by a penalty shootout.

In the previous round, Louis van Gaal’s side had overcome Costa Rica on penalties, thanks to, possibly, the most famous substitution in World Cup history.

Tim Krul had come on for Jasper Cillessen in injury time of extra time, going onto save two of los Ticos’ spot-kicks.

This time, Oranje had used all three of their substitutions, meaning Cillessen was left between the sticks for this shootout.

He failed to save any of Argentina’s attempts, while Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder were both denied by Sergio Romero.

This meant by the time Maxi Rodríguez lashed home, a shot Cillessen got two hands on, it was time for la Albiceleste to celebrate.

This denied Holland a place at back-to-back finals, while Argentina were narrowly beaten by Germany at the Maracanã four days later.

Argentina 0-4 Netherlands: World Cup second round group stage 1974

The first-ever competitive meeting between these two great football powerhouses came at the 1974 world cup, four years before their final clash.

Back then, after the group stages was, yes you guessed it, another group stage!

Netherlands, appearing at a first major tournament for 36 years, were looking good, defeating both Uruguay and Bulgaria in the first round.

Fans from all around the world then really sat up and took notice of the Dutch in this second round opener.

Rinus Michels’ team demolished Argentina 4-0, with Johan Cruyff scoring twice, before Ruud Krol and Johnny Rep were also on target.

Cryuff had already made a name for himself earlier in the tournament; his skill against Sweden a week earlier was the first sighting of the famous “Cruyff turn”.

Netherlands would also beat both East Germany and Brazil 2-0 in this round, before a narrow 2-1 defeat to West Germany in the final.

Nevertheless, this game was certainly the first time Dutch Total Football had been introduced to the world, a style that revolutionised the game, and is still prominent to this day.


Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".



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