Argentina reached the FIFA World Cup final as Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal failed to produce another penalty masterstroke.
Having introduced goalkeeper Tim Krul off the bench to replace number one Jasper Cillessen in the quarter-final shoot-out win against Costa Rica - with the Newcastle shot-stopper subsequently saving two spot-kicks to send his side through - Van Gaal had no such options this time around as Wednesday's semi-final finished 0-0 after extra time.
The Dutch had used all three substitutes by that point, leaving Cillessen to face Argentina's efforts when it mattered most.
And the youngster - who had never before kept out a penalty in his career - failed to reproduce his team-mate's heroics as opposite number Sergio Romero saved from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder to book Argentina's place in the showpiece against Germany on Sunday.
Ultimately, Maxi Rodriguez sealed a 4-2 shoot-out success, crashing his penalty in off the crossbar via the palms of Cillessen to spark jubilant scenes among the South Americans in the stands in Sao Paulo.
In a contest that was a far cry from the stunning drama of Germany's humiliation of Brazil 24 hours earlier, penalties always seemed the most likely outcome and so it proved.
The last time these two teams met in the knockout stages of a finals - in 1998 - the game was lit up by the sublime quality of Dennis Bergkamp's winning goal, but such moments of outstanding individual brilliance were almost non-existent here.
Much of the build-up was dominated by talk of a battle for supremacy between the two sides' respective talismen, but both Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben were well shackled throughout.
With many neutrals having hoped for a Brazil-Argentina final, the capitulation of the hosts on Tuesday meant that was a distant dream, but the success of Alejandro Sabella's men at least ensures that there will be South American representation in the showpiece.
The Dutch, runners-up four years ago, will now face a wounded Brazil in the third-place play-off in Brasilia on Saturday.
In stark contrast to the first semi, where Germany had raced into a 5-0 lead within 29 minutes to stun the hosts, what unfolded a day on was far less enthralling.
Netherlands made one change from their quarter-final win over Costa Rica as Nigel de Jong - who it was thought had been ruled out of the tournament with a groin strain - made an unexpected recovery to return in place of Memphis Depay.
For Argentina, Marcos Rojo came back from a one-match suspension, and Enzo Perez earned a spot in the absence of the injured Angel di Maria.
Neither side carved out a clear goalscoring opportunity in a turgid first period, Sneijder firing an effort on goal in the 13th minute, but his volley from outside the box was comfortably wide of the left-hand post.
Messi threatened for the first time two minutes later, seeing his free-kick well held by Cillessen diving low to his right.
Argentina looked marginally the more dangerous of the two sides and midway through the first half Ezequiel Garay headed Ezequiel Lavezzi's left-wing corner over the crossbar under pressure from Vlaar.
There was a moment of concern for Argentina shortly afterwards, when a clearly dazed Javier Mascherano fell to the floor following a clash of heads with Georginio Wijnaldum.
After receiving treatment, Mascherano was able to walk off the field and soon returned to action.
The second period began in much the same fashion as the first, with neither side able to make any inroads in the final third of the field.
Gonzalo Higuain did have half an opening in the 58th minute, but substitute Daryl Janmaat's covering header denied the Napoli man the chance to get on the end of Lavezzi's delivery from the right.
Once again, Higuain was unable to capitalise on a rare sight of goal 15 minutes from time, stretching to divert Perez's clever low ball into the side netting from close range.
Rojo tried his luck from distance nine minutes later, but his well-hit drive was straight at an untroubled Cillessen.
Robben's big moment arrived in the first minute of stoppage time as he bore down on goal following a fortuitous ricochet on the edge of the area, but Mascherano recovered brilliantly to deny the Bayern Munich man with a last-ditch tackle.
The winger had the first effort of note in extra-time, bringing a routine save out of Romero with a dipping effort from 25 yards after a trademark darting run off the right flank.
There were two late chances for Sabella's men in the final five minutes of the extra period, but both Rodrigo Palacio and Rodriguez failed to gain sufficient power on their efforts to really test Cillessen.
But, with Krul watching on from the sidelines this time, there was little that the young Dutch goalkeeper could do to prevent a clinical Argentina booking their place in the final when the spot-kicks arrived, as first Vlaar and then Sneijder proved wayward before Rodriguez struck the decisive blow.
|3||S. de Vrij|
|4||B. Martins Indi||45'|
|6||N. de Jong|
|9||R. van Persie|
|Coach: L. van Gaal|
for B. Martins Indi 46'
for N. de Jong 62'
for R. van Persie 96'
|Jesus will make Premier League history - Rivaldo|
|Adebayor: Arsenal are just Ozil and Sanchez|
|Algeria 1 Tunisia 2: Favourites on brink of elimination|
|Bayern keen to seal Coman deal as Rummenigge cools Gnabry interest|
|Pochettino has done his homework on Jesus as Spurs look to march on|
|Scrap offside? Premier League managers give Van Basten´s plans a cool reception|
|Coman ready for Bayern comeback, confirms Ancelotti|
|Pochettino upbeat despite six weeks out for Vertonghen, Lamela still a mystery|
|Cerezo defiant over Griezmann amid talk of Manchester United agreement|
|Robinho named in Brazil squad for Chapecoense fundraiser|
|Davies and Lookman aren´t the big men of Everton, warns Koeman|
|Ivory Coast v DR Congo: Dussyer demands champions show true strength|
|Replacing Robben and Ribery not easy - Hitzfeld|
|Yeray back in Athletic training after successful cancer surgery|
|Karanka targeting more Boro deals after Bamford swoop|
|Cavani: I am the ultimate finisher|
|Morocco v Togo: El Ahmadi hungry for success|
|Ancelotti denies Verratti approach|
|A-League Review: Cahill double sees Melbourne City sink Mariners|
|Manchester United very happy with Shaw, insists agent|
|Mertesacker extends Arsenal deal|
|Boost for Arsenal as key quartet returns to training|
|Will Jesus save Manchester City´s title bid? Guardiola´s new striker in Opta numbers|
|Tevez mobbed after touching down in Shanghai|
|Payet exit not inevitable - Bilic|
|Wenger: Arsenal don´t need Payet|
|Jesus wants Manchester City titles|
|Orsolini arrives for Juventus medical|
|Rivaldo backs Coutinho to join Neymar at Barcelona|
|No danger of Messi leaving Barcelona, says father|
|Augusto: I convinced Oscar to come to China|
|Madrid-bound Maradona visits Napoli training|
|Sevilla in no rush over Sampaoli talks despite Barcelona links|
|Cafu: Resurgent Brazil can challenge world´s best|
|Klopp thrilled with Coutinho|
|Manchester United replace Real Madrid as world´s richest club|
|Madrid squad annoyed by defeats - Zidane wants more energy after latest loss|
|Casemiro rues more misery for Madrid against Celta|
|´Job done, let´s go home´ - Klopp happy to avoid extra time with narrow Plymouth win|
|FA Cup Review: Southampton leave it late to beat Norwich|
|Real Madrid 1 Celta Vigo 2: Aspas and Jonny extend Madrid winless run|
|Plymouth Argyle 0 Liverpool 1: Rare Lucas goal sees Klopp´s men through|
|Manchester City in La La Land as Schalke toil underground|
|Cameroon 2 Guinea-Bissau 1: Ngadeu-Ngadjui completes comeback to send Broos´ men top|
|Monaco confirm signing of Ajax teenager Antonucci|
|Manchester United´s interest in Griezmann is unsurprising - Simeone|
|Bamford ends spell in Chelsea wilderness with Boro return|
|Louis the great - Luis Enrique explains his and Barca´s debt to Van Gaal|
|Gabon 1 Burkina Faso 1: Spot-on Aubameyang makes his point|
|PSG send Ikone on loan to Montpellier|
|Senegal v Zimbabwe: Cisse wants to live up to favourites tag|
|Ghana´s Rahman leaves AFCON with knee injury|
|Algeria v Tunisia: Mahrez demands improvement in crucial Group B clash|
|Dortmund forward Dembele hits out at Bundesliga refereeing|
|Robben hopes Alonso stays at Bayern amid retirement rumours|
|Asian champions Jeonbuk banned from 2017 Champions League|
|Rakitic still an important player for Barcelona - Luis Enrique|
|Jesus will develop quicker at City - Emerson|
|Always take the weather with you - Spanish snow blights CSKA´s training camp|
|Messi never gave Coach interview, claims father|
|Gotze questions critics but admits to falling short of expecations|
|´Conte can have our title´ - Ranieri wants Chelsea to win the Premier League|
|Tottenham reject Premier League, Bundesliga offers for Wimmer|
|Liverpool sell Ilori to Reading|
|Potential victims in football abuse probe surpasses 500|
|Bonaventura signs new AC Milan contract|
|Messi: Ronaldo has achieved great things|
|Koscielny: Wenger has built men at Arsenal|
|Messi vows to stay at Barcelona ´for as long as they want me´|
|Cafu adamant Neymar will become world´s best|
|I´m just taking a sabbatical - Van Gaal denies he´s retired|
|Not even Gerrard won Premier League - Buttner says he´s not a United flop|
|Samper ignored Wenger as Barca midfielder rejected Arsenal|
|Pleased Pioli wants more from Inter|
|Evergrande boss Scolari dismisses Turan links|
|Klopp seeks legal advice over Matip|
|Marseille complete Sanson move|
|Inter 3 Bologna 2: Candreva prevents remarkable turnaround in Coppa Italia thriller|
|FA Cup Review: Non-league Lincoln stun Ipswich, Burnley and Palace through|
|Gabon v Burkina Faso: Aubameyang says hosts have learned from Guinea-Bissau setback|
|Mali 0 Egypt 0: El-Hadary makes history in stalemate|
|El-Hadary oldest AFCON player ever - 44-year-old Egypt goalkeeper makes history|
|Reus and Gotze on target but Bender injured in Dortmund win|
|Toure shunning lavish China interest to stay at City, says Seluk|
|Rahman´s AFCON in the balance, says Ghana boss Grant|
|Just 14 goals conceded and nine clean sheets - How Vertonghen blow could impact Tottenham|
|Ghana 1 Uganda 0: Andre Ayew hands Black Stars nervy victory|
|Swansea snap up Carroll and Olsson in double swoop|
|All is forgiven? - Costa trains with full Chelsea squad after reported Conte bust-up|
|I would throw myself off a bridge for Luis Enrique - Rakitic dismisses Barca rift rumours|
|Was Juventus´ new logo inspired by tennis star?|
|Smooth sailing for Liverpool in Plymouth? Klopp expects tough test|
|Demichelis re-joins Malaga until end of season|
|Cameroon v Guinea-Bissau: Broos urges new heroes to emerge|
|Boxing champ hits Carragher with Chinese Super League comeback prank|
|Zidane backs Navas and defends Benzema as Madrid aim to bounce back|
|Deportivo bring in Kakuta from Hebei after CSL rule changes|
|Matip could miss eight games without doing anything wrong - Klopp|
|United trigger Valencia´s contract extension|
|Ronaldo returns to Real Madrid´s Copa squad|
|FA fine Sagna for Instagram post|
|Nedved does not foresee more January business for Juventus|
|Rafinha injury blow for Barcelona|
|Villas-Boas fumes at CSL foreign player crackdown|
|Ibrahimovic invaluable to Manchester United youngsters - Rashford|
|Robben rejected China move|
|A-League review: Phoenix rise to the occasion to end Victory´s streak|
|Van Gaal slams English media over treatment at Manchester United|
|Mignolet: Liverpool in better position to win title than in 2013-14|
|Giroud wants Premier League title but understands China temptations|
|Tianjin forced to scrap moves for Costa, Benzema, Cavani and Falcao|
|My goal was better than Mkhitaryan´s - Giroud|
|Pochettino not interested in Argentina job|
|Kane: Tottenham can win Premier League|
|Corinthians dreaming of Drogba - Paulo Roberto|
|Coutinho calls for Liverpool focus|
|Chiellini compares Pogba to LeBron and Bolt|
|Maradona to become Napoli ambassador|
|Mihajlovic furious after Torino collapse|
|Icardi has offers from China - Wanda Nara|
|Pogba can cope with pressure - Ibrahimovic|
|´My half-time words will stay in the dressing room´ - Montella annoyed with AC Milan|