NETHERLANDS V URUGUAY, ALL EYES ON FORLAN, ROBBEN
The Netherlands 'll file out against Uruguay today in the World Cup semi-finals in Cape Town. The two nations would rely on their top strikers, Arjen Robben and Diego Forlan to deliver the goals. Both players have rescued their teams in time of need since the preliminary rounds.
Both teams reached this semi-final after coming from behind in their quarterfinal matches. The Netherlands did it against Brazil and Uruguay broke African hearts by winning a penalty shoot-out against Ghana. Now they will meet today (Tuesday) July 6, at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.
The Netherlands came from a goal behind to beat the mighty Brazil in the quarter finals to win 2-1, and a deserved victory it was. The first half was a tightly fought affair with only Robinho's goal to separate them. Felipe Melo had played a perfectly weighted pass to Robinho who took advantage of a strangely absent central defence to put the ball in the net.
The Dutch equaliser early in the second half was an odd goal.
Wesley Sneijder's cross into the box looked like it would be easy pickings for goalkeeper Julio Cesar until Melo got in his way. The ball flicked off Melo's head into his own net. Sneijder headed in the winner with just over twenty minutes to go during which time's Melo's afternoon got worse when he was sent off for stomping on Arjen Robben.
The bad news for the Dutch was that the yellow cards picked up by Gregory van der Wiel and Nigel de Jong mean they will miss the semi-final.
The Dutch had an easier Round of 16 match when they beat Slovakia 2-1 and were the first team to qualify from the group stage when they won their first two matches. Adding a third win gave them a 100 per cent record.
The phrase 'the drama of the World Cup' was made for games such as Uruguay's quarter final victory over Ghana. Ghana were the last African team left in the World Cup and took a deserved lead just before half time with a wonder strike from Sulley Muntari. Diego Forlan equalised from a free kick shortly into the second half and the score stayed 1-1 until the last minute of extra time.
Ghana were pressing and as the clock ran down the ball was whizzing around the penalty area until substitute Dominic Adiyah headed the ball goalwards. Luis Suarez stopped it going in the net with his hand giving Ghana a last second penalty and earning himself a sending off that means he misses this semi-final. Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take it and smashed it against the crossbar. The game was over and a penalty shoot-out followed.
The courage it must have taken for Asamoah Gyan to wipe the tears from his eyes and take the first penalty in the shoot out is not measurable, but he did and scored but sadly some of his colleagues didn't and Uruguay won the shoot-out 4-2. The yellow card that Jorge Fucile picked up in this game means he will also miss the semi-final.
Luis Suarez was also the Uruguay hero in the Round of 16, scoring twice to give them a 2-1 win over South Korea. Uruguay got to the knockout stage as group winners with victories against Mexico and South Africa following a nervous goalless draw with