The Netherlands are now one win away from claiming the 2010 FIFA World Cup title as they defeated Uruguay 3-2 to move on to the championship game. Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben scored in the second half to continue their impressive form going into Sunday’s final match.
The “Oranje” are now winners of all six games they have played in at the tournament so far, and will face either Germany or Spain in the title game. Uruguay will face the loser in a third place game Saturday.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst opened the scoring on a driven shot from almost 30 yards away past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. The Uruguayans looked in disbelief as the shot bounced off the goal post and in for the 1-0 Dutch lead.
The last South American team left alive in the draw fired back just before halftime when Diego Forlan hit his own unstoppable drive from about the same distance. Forlan was the leading scorer for Uruguay at the tournament, and provided key goals at pivotal moments for La Celeste. The most memorable goal for the 31 year old possibly participating in his last tournament was the free kick against Ghana that sent the game into overtime.
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The Netherlands has made one other appearance in the World Cup final against West Germany in 1974. The game will take place Sunday in the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. An all Eruopean final will happen for the second consecutive tournament.
The Dutch offense looked in trouble in the second half, barely making any push towards the Uruguayan goal. Then in the 70th minute, Sneijder sent a ball in the box that caught Muslera off guard, and just barely took a deflection off Maximiliano Pereira to fall into the back of the net.
Holland doubled their lead minutes later in the 73rd when Dirk Kuyt crossed the ball in past a stationary defense to Robben, who coolly headed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. Robben blew kisses to the fans with smiles on his face as he ran back to his side of the field.
Pereira scored a late goal in stoppage time, but the damage had already been done. Some Uruguayans hung their heads, and a few fell to their knees as the full-time whistle blew.
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Soccer sportsbooks have set Spain as the favorite to win the next semifinal match Wednesday afternoon at +160 odds. The Germans come in as the slight underdog at +170. The over/under for total goals scored in the match by both teams is set at 2 1/2.