Netherlands beats Uruguay 3-2 in FIFA World Cup semifinals

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010 FIFA World Cup 2010 South Korea Nigeria.jpg

The Netherlands will either face Spain or Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday, July 11.
Image: Marc Forrest.
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The Netherlands defeated Uruguay in the semifinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday. Uruguay was the last South American team holdout in the tournament. This year's World Cup is is being hosted by South Africa.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored for the Dutch with a 35-yard shot in the eighteenth minute, while Uruguay's Diego Forlan scored his fourth goal in this year's World Cup to tie in the 41st minute.

However, after the Netherlands' coach Bert van Marwijk replaced Demy de Zeeuw with attacker Rafael van der Vaart at halftime, the Dutch went on a roll, with Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben both scoring in the second half. They scored in quick succession, in the 70th and 73rd minutes, respectively. Uruguay later narrowed the Dutch's lead to one point in injury time, but the orange-clad Dutch beat back late Uruguayan pressure after the injury time goal was scored.

The Dutch team was jubilant after their semifinal win. "This is unforgettable," Sneijder said. "It was a tough fight and toward the end we complicated matters. Sunday we play in the World Cup final. I have to get used to that."

Coach Bert van Marwijk was also happy. "This is very special. After 32 years we play the final again. Such a small country. We can be very proud of this." Van Marwijk has been coach of the Netherlands for two years.

Fans of the Netherlands' soccer team were wildly celebrating too. 45 minutes after the small Western European country won, many fans returned to Cape Town's Green Point Stadium to see the players do a victory dance. Many of the fans beat drums and cheered "Holland! Holland! Holland!"

The Dutch will face either Spain or Germany Sunday in the World Cup finals. This will be their first World Cup final appearance since 1978, when they lost 3-1 to Argentina, who was playing on their home turf. The Dutch also lost the championship in 1974. Uruguay hadn't appeared in the semifinals since 1970. However, they won the World Cup in 1930, and again in 1950, but they have since suffered a 60-year drought, which continues to this day.


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