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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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Uruguay-Netherlands 2-3
Holland to the final!

Tuesday 6 July 2010 - 20h30 CET
Greenpoint Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)

The Netherlands are the first team to have qualified for the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Holland had a lot of trouble with Uruguay for 70 minutes, but within three minutes goals by Sneijder and Arjen Robben decided the match (2-3).

Uruguay started aggressively, but after four minutes the first good chance was for Holland. A shot by Wesley Sneijder ended up with Dirk Kuyt via the hands of goal keeper Fernando Muslera, but the Liverpool forward aimed a few yards too high. Another Sneijder shot was blocked by Robin van Persie.

Although Holland remained playing nervously they did take the lead. And they did so in the most spectacular way. Giovanni had scored five goals so far in the 104 games he had played for Holland, but when he did it was often either important or amazing. And so it was again tonight. He got the ball halfway up the Uruguay half, a bit to the left, and sent a shot screaming to the top right corner of the goal behind Muslera. It splashed into the junction and Holland seemed set for an easy game.

Indeed the opening goal eased Holland's linkup play, but only for a short while. Holland sat back to much and invited Uruguay to create things. And Holland's invitation was accepted gladly by Uruguay.

Bert van Marwijk must have told his players many times about the danger of Diego Forlan, but still the Atletico player was allowed to pull of one of his trademark shots and equalize over the head of John Heitinga, with a shot that left Maarten Stekelenburg look a bit old.

The goal stirred up the nerves in the Dutch side that had a poor start to the second half. It was illustrated by a short back pass by Khalid Boulahrouz that caused Stekelenburg and Giovanni van Bronckhorst some serious problems.

A free kick by that man Forlan again forced Stekelenburg to stretch himself, but then things went Holland's way for a short while and the game seemed decided.

First Van der Vaart gave of a warning after which Robben failed to put in the rebound, but only minutes later the ball was in the back of the net. After some good play by Robben and Van Persie Wesley Sneijder put a shot through a lot of legs and beat Muslera at his far post: 1-2.

Before Uruguay knew what had happened Arjen Robben headed home a third Dutch goal and secured Holland's ticket for the final.

In the twenty minutes left on the clock Holland should have increased their lead, but because they failed Maximiliano Pereira's fine goal in stoppage time sent several shivers through the Dutch ranks when Uruguay put everything forward in a last desperate effort. But even two extra minutes of stoppage time weren't enough and the 2-3 score was carried to the final whistle.

For the third time in their history Holland have qualified for the final of the World Cup.

This time it wasn't with impressive, spectacular football, but history has shown that the spectacular teams are usually not the winning teams.

Goals

   
0-1 18' G Van Bronckhorst
41' D. Forlan 1-1  
1-2 70' W. Sneijder
1-3 73' A. Robben
90"+2 M. Pereira 2-3  

 

Cards

 
21' M. Pereira  
30' M. Caceres  
  30' Sneijder
  78' K. Boulahrouz
  90'+2 M. van Bommel

 

Lineups

   
Uruguay   Netherlands  
Muslera   M. Stekelenburg  
Maxi Pereira   K. Boulahrouz  
Godin   J. Mathijsen  
Victorino   J. Heitinga  
Caseres   G. van Bronckhorst  
Perez   M. van Bommel  
Alvaro Pereira 78' S. Abreu D. de Zeeuw 46' R. Van der Vaart
Gargano   W. Sneijder  
Arevalo   A. Robben 90' E. Elia
Forlan 84' S. Fernández D. Kuyt  
Cavani   R. van Persie  

 

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