World Cup: And Then There Were Four The World Cup field has been whittled down to a quartet for the semi-finals coming up later this week. Host Jacki Lyden recaps some of the surprises and disappointments.
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World Cup: And Then There Were Four

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World Cup: And Then There Were Four

World Cup: And Then There Were Four

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

And then there were four. The World Cup field has been whittled down to a quartet for the semifinals, coming up later this week. Most surprisingly perhaps is that Latin America won't be represented by perennial soccer behemoths Brazil and Argentina. The favorite Brazilians, who have nicknames as fancy as their footwork, were ousted by the Dutch. Meanwhile, the Diego Maradona-led Argentines met their match and then some in Germany, losing 4-0, or is that zip - no, wait, I meant nil.

So, after Spain's win over Paraguay, it is tiny Uruguay that will be representing the hopes of the South American continent. That team caught a break when Ghana missed its point-blank penalty kick, following a deliberate handball by Uruguay's Luis Sanchez in the last minute of extra time.

Unidentified Man: You couldn't write this. Its here, it's gone and he's missed it. Oh, my goodness me.

LYDEN: Uruguay went on to win the penalty shootout. And so on Tuesday, it's Uruguay-Netherlands; Wednesday, Germany takes on Spain. The winners meet in the final a week from today.

(Soundbite of music)

LYDEN: Get the latest on the World Cup on our Show Me Your Cleats blog on our site. That's at NPR.org/cleats.

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