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An Argentina loss could help Brazil feel a little better

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Brazilians get a chance to reboot emotionally by pulling against Argentina in World Cup today

And on the day after, there is still soccer.

Brazil, as tempting as it was, did not ask FIFA to cancel the rest of the competition on account of pain. The most surreal match imaginable -- Germany's touchdown-margin win -- has left the host country of the World Cup in a world of hurt. Brazil occasionally deals with a tropical depression that quickly passes. How long do soccer depressions linger?

Lucky for them, the Brazilians get a chance to reboot emotionally by pulling against their primo rival. The suffering can be eased somewhat if Argentina meets the same fate in the other semifinal against the Netherlands.

Dazzling on the attack, the Dutch need one goal today to become the Cup's second-highest scoring team, even after getting shut out by Costa Rica in a match where they concocted as many opportunities as Germany did Tuesday.

Jeopardizing their hopes is a stomach ailment that might ground forward Robin van Persie, who brings the yang to Arjen Robben's yin. In tandem, they are the tournament's most dynamic pair up front. Without van Persie, the degree of difficulty to score on Argentina's prodigious defense will inflate.

Argentina has its own injury concerns, with winger Angel di Maria likely inactive with an ailing thigh.

As implausible as it seems with a game involving Robben and Lionel Messi, the absences could set up a 1-0 game. Nerves might come into play too.

The Dutch are carrying the albatross of Best Soccer Nation To Never Win The Cup, having lost in three finals, including the last one.

Argentina has not even reached the title game since 1990, an eon for a proud soccer nation.

If it happens again, the gloom over Argentina's neighbors might be lifted, if only a little.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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