Oranje through to the finals

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretoria - The Netherlands have reached their first 2010 FIFA World Cup final in 32 years after beating Uruguay 3-2 at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.

The Oranje will now face the winner of the semi-final match between Germany and Spain set to take place today in Durban.

Uruguay will now fight for a third place position with the loser of today's semi-final clash between the Germans and Spaniards.

Uruguay came without their lethal striker, Luis Suarez who received a one match ban following his controversial handball in the goal-line in the last eight match against Ghana.

Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani on various occasions attempted to penetrate the Dutch defence, but failed to get a goal.

However, with their 24-match unbeaten record, the Dutch slowed down Uruguay and dominated the field with a brilliant goal through their skipper, Giovanni van Bronckhorst 18 minutes into the game.

Van Bronckhorst took a long-range volley 35 metres from the box which the Uruguay goal keeper, Fernando Muslera attempted to palm away with his weak left hand.

However, the Uruguayan defence was outplayed by the lethal combination of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie.

Five minutes before the half-time break, Uruguayan skipper, Forlan equalised with a stunning goal 35 metres from the box. The strike was too strong for the Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. At half-time the score board was 1-1.

When the Oranje head coach, Bert Van Marwijk replaced Demy De Zeeuw in the second-half with Rafael van Der Vaart, the Dutch intensified their attack on the South Americans.

In the 70th minute, man of the match, Sneijder scored the second goal for the Oranje. Three minutes later, Robben shattered Uruguay's dream of reaching the World Cup finals with his third goal.

However, Maximiliano Pereira scored Uruguay's second goal in the 92nd minute of added stoppage time.

The two sides' previously met in the World Cup in 1974 when the Dutch won 2- nil in a group game, with Jonny Rep netting both goals. Diego Forlan's father, Pablo, was on the losing side.