Thursday's semi-final was more a test of wills and intestinal fortitude than a footballing spectacle as Argentina put three past neighbours Chile in a tough test in Toronto. Up now for the Argentines is a rematch with the Czech Republic in the Final.
"We set goals for ourselves here - we achieved the first one by getting out of the group stage," said Argentine top scorer and Atletico Madrid starlet Sergio Aguero. "After that, the next goal was to play seven games, but now our one goal is to win the Final and become world champions again. We will not be content with just getting to the Final and going out, we want to win the whole thing...now we want it all."
The Chileans finished the game with nine men after Gary Medel
was sent off early on and Dagoberto Currimilla joined him in the
locker room after picking up a second yellow late on.
"I don't want to talk about the referee," said Currimilla after the game. "We lost and we have to accept it. The first red card hurt us a lot, and so did the first goal we conceded. But we played very well and had good chances to score even though we were down to ten men. I would really like to say how good my team-mates have been here at the world cup. We played well, earned respect and leave with our heads held high."
"Obviously, it hurts to be out of the final but I know that I have mates as good or even better than me and they will replace me in the best way," said Cahais after the game. "We have a great group of players and we are always united. Now it's time to show that we are champions. I will go to the Final showing support for my mates."
Argentina coach Hugo Tocalli was not a happy man at the final whistle, knowing that with injuries and suspensions he will be missing no less than five starters in Sunday's Final. Jacob and Cahais are suspended and Mauro Zarate, Damian Escudero and Angel Di Maria are all injured. "I'm not smiling, because I lost three players tonight, two with a second yellow card and one to an injury," the veteran boss said. "In all, five first-team players will not play in the Final. Even though I have faith in the substitutes, it's not the same."
Defender Emiliano Insua is sure the Final against the Czechs is going to be a different affair to the 0-0 draw they played out in their Group E opener. "We know we were unable to score against them in our first game," he said. "But this one will be different I am sure. We have the experience of some tough games and we have gotten better with each one."