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.

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