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Argentina's Javier Mascherano lies on the ground after clashing head to head with a dutch player during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Javier Mascherano and Pablo Zabaleta both stayed in the game for Argentina after being knocked down by blows to their heads during Wednesday's World Cup semifinal.

Mascherano looked discombobulated after he clashed heads with Georginio Winjaldum in the first half against the Netherlands.

After receiving medical attention, he got back in the game and played a key defensive role to keep the Netherlands from scoring.

Zabaleta went down bleeding from his mouth after smashing his face into Netherlands wingback Dirk Kuyt's shoulder in extra time.

He also played on after team doctors put a piece of tissue in his mouth.

Earlier in the tournament, the world players' union accused FIFA of failing to protect Uruguay midfielder Alvaro Pereira after he played on following a hard blow to the head.



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