Oranje Brilliance Carries Dutch Into World Cup Final With 3-2 Win Over Uruguay

Goals from Giovani van Bronckhorst, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben have the Netherlands into their first final since 1978.

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World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Dutch Through To Their Third World Cup Final

The Netherlands is through to their first World Cup final since 1978 after a 3-2 win over Uruguay.  The Dutch got goals from Giovani van Bronckhorst, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben in holding-off the Uruguayans, moving on to Sunday's final in Johannesburg.

The Dutch pulled-ahead in the 18th minute when van Bronckhorst found net with what looked to be a speculative shot from 30 yards out, even with the left edge of the penalty area.  The shot ended-up perfect, going in high off Fernando Muslera's left post to give the Dutch a 1-0 lead.

Uruguay talisman Diego Forlán pulled La Celeste even near halftime - a 26-yard, left-footed shot swerving before it met goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, going in off the `keeper's left glove that sent the sides into intermission tied at one.

In the second half, Uruguay was able to carry-over some of their first half success, going through their right side to open-up attacking opportunities.

However, in the 70th minute, a controversial goal from Wesley Sneijder gave the Dutch a 2-1 lead.  The midfielder's right footed shot from 17 yards out (from the left of the penalty area) deflected off a Uruguayan defender before bouncing through to the far post, going in to give the Netherlands the lead.  The controversy was caused by Robin van Persie, in an offside position, moving his leg as the ball went by him, eight yards from goal.  The goalkeeper seemed to pause, as if to maintain position for a possible redirection, possibly allowing the shot to beat him far post.

Three minutes later, Arjen Robben headed home a cross from the left flank, redirecting the pass to the near post, beating Fernando Muslera for Holland's third goal.

The match appeared to be settled, with both teams subbing their best players out (Forlan and Robben).   However, in the 92nd minute, Uruguayan right back Maxi Pereira converted a 18-yard left-footed shot from a dead ball play to put Uruguay within one goal with two minutes of added-on time to play.

The Dutch survived those two minutes to clinch their first finals appearance since 1978, when they lost to host nation Argentina. 

On Sunday, they will make their third finals appearance, facing either Spain or the nation against whom they waged their first final, rival Germany.

Uruguay will play in the third place match on Saturday in Port Elizabeth.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Maxi Pereira 92nd Minute Goal Brings La Celeste Within One

Right back Maxi Pereira has scored off a set piece in the 92nd minute to make it 3-2 in the last moments of their semifinal against the Dutch.

A dead ball 30 yards out was rolled to the right for an on-coming Pereira, the right back curling a left-footed shot into the far corner for Uruguay's second goal.

With added time, Uruguay should have two minutes to find  an equalizing goal.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Arjen Robben Head Dutch To 3-1 Lead

Any controversy surrounding their second goal will be forgotten if the Dutch maintain the two goal lead given to them by Arjen Robben's 73rd minute heard, taking a cross from the left flank and putting it near post to give the Netherlands a 3-1 lead.

The header came from near ten yards out, an easy finish even for a man who is not known for scoring with his head.  The right winger, near the middle of the area, headed the cross just inside the neat post  for the two goal lead.

The Netherlands maintain their 3-1 lead in the match's 85th minute.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Controversial Goal From Wesley Sneijder Gives Dutch 2-1 Lead

Robin Van Persie, in an offside position nine yards from goal, did not touch Wesley Sneijder's shot, but having waved a foot at the passing ball, the Dutch forward may have frozen goalkeeper Fernando Muslera long enough to let the soft shot get past the goalie and onto the far post, going in to give the Netherlands a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute.

Sneijder put a shot toward net from 17 yards out to the left of goal.  The ball deflected off a Uruguay defender, losing it's momentum while headed for t he goal's far corner.  Robin van Persie, barely in an offside position, waved his foot at the bouncing ball but missed it; however, Fernando Muslera's weight seemed to be on his right foot, frozen by the action instead of moving for the shot.

Sneijder's ball bounced past the goalie and into goal, giving the Dutch a 2-1 lead.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Giovani Van Bronckhorst, Diego Forlan Rockets Have Game Even At Half

Two moments of brilliance have speckled an otherwise evenly played first half to take Uruguay and the Netherlands into halftime tied at one.

Giovani van Bronckhorst's 18th minute goal from near 30-yards out went  into the upper-right hand corner of goal, hitting off the top of Fernando Muslera's left post and going in to give the Dutch a 1-0 lead.

While the Dutch would go on to have most of the half's possession, they were unable to meaningfully test Muslera beyond their left back's goal, allowing Uruguay to come into the match over the last 20 minutes.  Through the right flank, with Edinson Cavani, the Uruguayans were able to generate a number of half-chances.

In the 42nd minute, Diego Forlán, slightly against the run-of-play, pulled Uruguay even when he let go of a 26-yard, left-footed shot that went off of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg's left hand and into the net.  It was Forlán's fourth goal of the tournament.

The Netherlands have held 58 percent of the possession and generated two shots on goal (to Uruguay's three), spending more of their time on their left flank, trying to attack right back Maxi Pereira.  Throughout the half, coach Bert van Marwijk has switched wingers Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt, playing Robben on his uncustomary left side and moving Kuyt right.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Diego Forlan From Distance Equalizes For La Celeste

Something from nothing is what players like Diego Forlán gives you, and in the 42nd minute against Holland, that something was a 26-yard goal with his off-foot to pull La Celeste even with the Netherlands, 1-1.

Taking an innocent ball from his midfielders,  Forlán cut-in from even with the right post to the middle of goal, 26 yards out.  The Uruguayan star let a shot go off his left foot that appeared to curl as it came upon goalkeeper Maarten  Stekelengurg, going off the `keeper's left hand, into the net.

It was Forlán's fourth goal of the competition.

The score remains tied in the 46th minute.


World Cup 2010, Netherlands Vs. Uruguay: Giovani Van Bronckhorst Rocket Gives Dutch 1-0 Lead

Netherlands captain Giovani van Bronckhorst was given space from 28-yards out for a speculative shot, but hit perfectly against the upper part of the far post, the left back has put the Netherlands up 1-0 in the match's 20th minute.

The Dutch had strung together a number of passes about 35 yards from goal, working the ball from the right flank to the middle, where Demy de Zeeuw laid-off a simple pass to  the oncoming van Bronckhorst.  The left back put his left boot to the ball for a perfect goal, giving Holland the early lead.

The match is now in the 22nd minute, with the Netherlands up 1-0.

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