World Cup dream ends for Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer

Argentina players celebrate victory in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. Argentina players celebrate victory in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Thursday, July 10, 2014
12:17 AM

Leroy Fer will not get the chance to become the first Norwich City player to appear in a World Cup final – after the Netherlands lost their semi-final to Argentina last night.

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Netherlands players appear dejected in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.Netherlands players appear dejected in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

The Dutch midfielder and the rest of the Oranje were left to digest the prospect of playing Brazil in Saturday’s third-place play-off – rather than facing Germany in the Maracana for football’s biggest prize the following day.

The match in Sao Paulo had been a tense battle in both normal time and extra-time, finishing 0-0 with few chances for both sides.

But Argentina claimed a 4-2 penalty shootout win after Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder both missed for Holland.

Skipper Lionel Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguerio and Maxi Rodriguez all made no mistake from the spot for the South Americans.

Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero celebrates victory in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero celebrates victory in the penalty shoot-out during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Fer would’ve had the chance to join Martin Peters as the only other Canaries player to appear in a World Cup final – although Peters was with West Ham when England won the tournament in 1966, and only joined City in the twilight of his career.

Fer’s World Cup appearances are likely to leave a question mark over his Norwich future following the club’s Premier League relegation – and scoring within minutes of his opening World Cup appearance, the opening goal in Holland’s 2-0 group win over Chile.

That made Fer the first City player to score at a World Cup finals. A hamstring injury curtailed Fer’s involvement, until his return to training this week.

That injury also ensured that the former Feyenoord midfielder was not able to play in last night’s semi-final, although he could be fit for Sunday.

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