Argentina and the Netherlands stormed into the final of the World Cup yesterday and this soccer-crazy country started a night of wild celebration.
Holland reached the final first, defeating Italy, 2-1, at Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium, where the final will be played Sunday.
With a fanatical crowd of 41,000 roaring them on, the Argentinians roared past Peru, 6-0, at Rosario.
Italy and Brazil, runner-up in groups A and B, meet Saturday for third place.
Argentina took the field, knowing it had to defeat Peru by at least four goals because Brazil topped Poland, 3-1, earlier in the day at Mendoza. The crowd jamming Rosario's stadium, nicknamed the "Devil's Cauldron" for its tight dimensions, reacted with delirious cheering as the hosts reached the final for the first time since the inaugural World Cup event in 1930, when they lost to neighboring Uruguay.
The crowd, waving thousands of blue and white flags, included Argentine President Jorge Rafeal Videla and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who flew in to watch the final games of the Cup with his wife and son.
When Leopold Luque headed the crucial goal, a roar rang out over the city of Buenos Aires and within minutes motorcades of horn-honking, flag-waving, delirious fans jammed the streets in a demonstration that seemed likely to go on until dawn.
At Cordoba in the day's other game Austria ended West Germany's slim hopes, 3-2, Austria's first victory against a German national team in 47 years.
Holland was the finalist in the last World Cup in 1974, losing to West Germany. Neith Argentina nor Holland has ever won the Cup.
Holland trailed Italy at halftime but came back with the goal-scoring power of world champions.
Magnificent goals by Eray Bradits in the 50th minute and Aire Haan in the 75th gave the Dutch the match and made them champions of Group A. Brandits goal made amends for an error in the 20th minute when he sent the ball into his own net to give Italy a 1-0 lead.
At Cordoba, Hans Kranki scored two goals to give Austria the upset over West Germany. His winning goal came only two minutes from the end. The outcome made Italy the runnerup in Group A and sent the Italians into Saturday's consolation match.
The Germans, defending champions, led at the half with a 19th-minute goal by Karl-Helnz Rummenigge and looked set for at least a place in the third-place playoff.But Robert Sara leveled the score in the 59th minute and Kranki sent Austria into the lead seven minutes later. Then Bernd Hoelzenbein scored for West Germany and if the score had remained tied, the Germans would have edged Italy for the playoff spot on goals aggregate. But Kranki shattered their hopes with a low shot past goalkeeper Sepp Maier that spelled the end of a 12-year World Cup career for retiring West German Coach Helmut Schoen.
Brazil and Argentina began the day dueling for top place in Group B. Brazil downed Poland 3-1 on two rebound goals by Roberto, in the 58th and 62nd minutes, after Nelinho scored the first Brazilian goal, bending a free kick around the defensive wall, and Karimierz Deyna scored for Poland.
Argentina then went onto the field against Peru with a 2-0 group record and had to win big to overtake Brazil for a place in the championship match.
At first, the Argentina were tense and kept on the defensive. But Mario Kempes broke the spell by scoring in the 20th minute; from then on the Peruvian defense disintegrated and was completely overrun. Alberto Tarantini scored in the 42nd minute to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.
There was pandemonium as Argentina piled on the goals in the second half. Kempes scored in the 50th minute and Luque tallied one minute later. Rene Houseman went on as a substitute and immediately scored the fifth goal in the 67th minute. Luque notched the sixth goal in the 73rd minute.
Argentina doubled its goals tally for the entire tournament. It had not scored more than two in any previous game.