World Cup dream ends for Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer
00:17 10 July 2014
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.
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.
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.