Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010 World Cup Semi final - Netherlands 3-2 Uruguay

Pictures gallery (above) of the unstoppable Dutch team of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Dutch stormed into their 3rd World Cup final match, in grand style, dismantling a stubborn Uruguayan side 3-2.

The achievements of the Holland team last night on 6th July 2010, now equals the great Dutch side of the 1974 World Cup, spear-headed by the legendary Johan Cruyff's total football who dominated the world football in the 70s.

The Dutch is now in their 3rd World Cup final after a long wait of 32 years.

The Dutch lost 1-2 to Gerd Muller's Der Bomber and The Kaiser's Franz Beckenbauer inspired team of West Germany in the 1974 final and 1-3 to the Mario Kempes and Daniel Pasarellaa's great Argentinian side in the 1978 final. How heartbreaking for the whole of Holland then. They missed 2 chances for glory as World Champion in a span of 4 years!!!

2 weeks ago, as the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal stage was underway, South American teams had emerged as the tournament's dominant player, with four of its five squads among the last eight.

But Tuesday, 6th July 2010 at Cape Town Stadium, South Africa, the Netherlands did its part in restoring Europe as the leading primadona in the World Cup, defeating an undermanned but resilient squad from Uruguay, 3-2, in the first of the tournament's two semifinals to guarantee an all-European final.

The Netherlands who earlier sent home the highly fancied, 5 times World Champion, Brazil 2-1 in the quarterfinal, will face either Spain, the 2008 European champion, or three-time World Cup champion Germany, for the sport's most coveted trophy on Sunday, 11 July 2010, at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium.

The loser of Wednesday's semifinal between Germany and Spain in Durban will face Uruguay in the third-place match Saturday in Port Elizabeth.

The Netherlands drew first blood with their captain's Giovanni Van Bronckhorst 30 metres piledriver that shoot past Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera at almost 300 km per hour as the game was barely 18th minutes underway.

Diego Forlan however restored Uruguay's fightback with a screamer outside the Dutch penalty box that completely confused Holland's goal keeping in charge - Maarten Stekelenburg.

In the 2nd half, Dutch soccer fans erupted in cheers again after Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben scored the Dutch 2nd and 3rd goals in a space of 3 minutes, in the 70th and 73 minutes respectively.

With the match almost ending 3-1, the south American side managed to put another last minute goal in the final minutes of the goal, courtesy of Maximiliano Pereria, after a neat free kick build up.

No one knows what will be the outcome of the match had Uruguay's top striker, Luis Suarez made it to the Uruguayian's frist eleven. Suarez was suspended for his handball against Ghana, a sacrifice that enabled Uruguay to progress into the World Cup semifinal for the 1st time in 40 years..

In Amsterdam, once the victory was official, a throng estimated at 40,000 to 50,000 erupted anew in Amsterdam's Museum Square, where Dutch supporters watched the proceedings on massive outdoor screens.

Tuesday's victory sends the Netherlands to the World Cup final for the first time since 1978. And that history, and the defeats that resulted in 1974 and 1978, came immediately to mind for Coach Bert van Marwijk as his players celebrated their feat.

"It's quite something we achieved after 32 years," van Marwijk said afterward. "The thing is: We're not there yet. There is going to be one more match."

Tuesday's outcome surprised few. The Netherlands is the only team in the World Cup that has yet to lose a match, its record is now 6-0-0.

And it disappointed fewer still in Africa, where hostility toward Uruguay still lingered four days after Luis Suarez's controversial handball blocked a shot that would have sent Ghana, the continent's last standing team, to the semifinals.

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