DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: John Heitinga and Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands celebrate victory during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Netherlands and Slovakia at Durban Stadium on June 28, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Netherlands Knock Out World Cup Favorites Brazil, Advance To Semifinals

The Dutch are headed to the World Cup semifinals thanks to a late header from Wesley Sneijder that turned out to be the winning goal as the Orange shock Brazil, 2-1.

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World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Wesley Sneijder Goal Knocks Out Favorites

One of the two pre-tournament favorites is out after the Netherlands defeated Brazil 2-1 today in Port Elizabeth.  The Dutch now move on to the semifinals, where they will face the winner of Ghana-Uruguay, while Brazil has been eliminated from the World Cup at the quarterfinal stage for the second consecutive tournament.

Four years ago, it was a 57th minute goal from Thierry Henry on Brazil's way to a 1-0 loss to France.  This year, it was an own goal from Felipe Melo and a headed goal from Wesley Sneijder that brought the Dutch back from a halftime deficit to win 2-1.

Brazil went up in the tenth minute after Melo took advantage of a Netherlands' defensive mistake, played a ball from his own half to attacker Robinho, who beat Maarten Stekelenburg from 18 yards out for the opening goal.

Brazil went on to control the first half, going close again in the 31st minute when Kaká tried to curl a shot from the top of the box into Stekelenburg's upper-left hand corner.  The Dutch `keeper's leaping save helped get the Netherlands to halftime down 1-0.

In the second half the Dutch proved the stronger side, getting an equalizer in the 53rd minute off a Melo own goal.  From a dead ball on the right flank. Sneijder eventually lofted a left-footed shot toward the middle of the penalty area.  goalkeeper Júlio César came to punch the ball clear but ran into the back of his midfielder, the ball going off Melo's head and into the goal from eight yards out.

Fifteen minutes later, a corner kick flicked from the near post by Dirk Kuyt found Sneijder, who headed into an unprotected net to give the Netherlands a 2-1 lead.

Five minutes later, Brazil's fate was sealed as Melo completed his chaotic day by earning a straight red card, kicking at the back of Arjen Robben's thigh after an attempted tackle had sent the Dutch winger to the group.  Referee Yuichi Nishimura dismissed the midfielder with 17 minutes left of regulation time, leaving Brazil a man down.

From there, the Dutch would protect their lead to reach their first semifinal since 1998, when they were eliminated on penalty kicks by Brazil.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Felipe Melo Shown Straight Red Card In 73rd Minute

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo has been shown a straight red card for stepping on Arjen Robben.

In the 73rd minute, with the Netherlands up 2-1, a Melo challenge took Robben to the ground, and as the Brazilian went for the ball he kicked Robben in the back of the winger's left thigh.

Referee Yuichi Nishimura immediately showed a red card, reducing Brazil to 10 men.

The quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Brazil remains 2-1, the Netherlands, in the 77th minute.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Wesley Sneijder Heads Dutch Into Lead

The Netherlands have taken a second half lead on pre-tournament favorites Brazil, a 69th minute header of a corner kick given Wesley Sneijder the go-ahead goal.

A corner kick played near post was flicked on by Dirk Kuyt to Sneijder who, unmarked in the middle of goal, six yards out, had an easy header for the goal.

Now in the 72nd minute, the match remains 2-1, the Netherlands.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Felipe Melo Own Goal Breathes Life Into Dutch

Whether it was a cross or a shot, Felipe Melo and Julio Cesar made it into a Netherlands goal, with the goalkeeper unable to get to a ball offered by Wesley Sneijder, allowing the Dutch to equalize Brazil in the 53rd minute of the team's quarterfinal, 1-1.

Play off a right flank free kick culminated with Sneijder playing a left footed ball from 28 yards out today the middle of the area.  César came off his line for a punch but collided with Felipe Melo, the ball going off the midfielders head and inside the far post for a goal.

The match, now in the 59th minute, remains drawn 1-1.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Robinho Goal Holds Up Into Halftime

Brazil's 10th minute goal from Robinho gives the five-time champions a deserved halftime lead over the Netherlands, 1-0, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.

Brazil took advantage of a defensive error from the Netherlands that allowed Robinho to be onside while behind the central defense, allowing the attacker to take a ball played from his own half and beat Maarten Stekelenburg from 18 yards out.

A Kaká shot in the 31st minute gave Brazil their other strong chance of the half, with Stekelenburg leaping up and to his left to save the midfielder's shot from the top of the penalty box.

The Netherlands' best chances came from a sharp angle shot from Dirk Kuyt to the left of goal in the 11th minute and a long, direct kick from Wesley Sneijder in the 36th minute.

The Netherlands are without defender Joris Mathijsen, who was left out of the team after injuring his right knee in pre-match warm-ups.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Robinho Put Through For Early Brazil Goal

Brazil took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of their quarterfinal match against the Netherlands, the first scoring chance of the match, when Robinho slid a shot past Maarten Stekelenburg after a long ball from Felipe Melo put the Brazilian attacker in on goal.

Dutch defender John Heitenga was caught by Robinho playing too high, allowing Felipe Melo, from his own half, to put a ball through the defense, sending Robinho in on Stekelenburg.  The Brazilian's second goal of the tournament gives the five-time champions a 1-0 lead.

The match remains 1-0 Brazil in the 15th minute.


World Cup 2010, Brazil Vs. Netherlands: Joris Mathijsen Out For The Dutch

Center half Joris Mathijsen is out for the Dutch, having hurt a knee in pre-match warm-ups for the Netherlands.

Mathijsen played ever minute of the Dutch World Cup qualifiers and has not missed any action in South Africa.  However, the Hamburg defender came down with an injury before the match and has been scratched.

Andre Oojier takes Mathijsen's place.

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