Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2014 04:52 | By Agence France-Presse

Argentina, Dutch, goalless at half-time

Argentina and the Netherlands were goalless at half-time of their World Cup semi-final at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

Argentina, Dutch, goalless at half-time

Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi (C) gestures during the semi-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina of the FIFA World Cup at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on July 9, 2014 - by Nelson Almeida

In a cagey initial period, Lionel Messi had an early freekick denied by Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen while Sergio Romero, his opposite number, punched away two efforts at the other end.

Argentina had a scare when Javier Mascherano clashed heads with Georginio Wijnaldum but the Barcelona midfielder soldiered on after a short time out on the sidelines.

The kick-off was preceded by applause for Real Madrid's Argentine-born great Alfredo Di Stefano, who died aged 88 on Monday.

The winner faces Germany in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium.

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