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What Happened

Giovanni van Bronckhorst opened the scoring with one of the goals of the tournament — belting a drive into the top corner — before Diego Forlan responded with a screamer of his own to level the score before half-time.

Wesley Sneijder (who else) scored a crucial go-ahead goal in the 69th minute, and Arjen Robben added a Dutch third with a beautiful header just three minutes later. Maxi Pereira scored a minute into injury time setting up a nervy final few minutes, but the the Dutch held on to give them another crack at their first ever World Cup title.

 

Notes from Joe

- We’d all say a bit more about how good of a player Wesley Sniejder is, but at this point it’s starting to sound like when Ray Manzarek talks about Jim Morrison. He didn’t have his best game of the tournament today, but he still was a key part of the Dutch passing game, and he obviously came up with yet another vital goal.

- Stunning that Mark van Bommel didn’t pick up his first booking of the tournament until the fifth minute of injury time in the semifinals. Not that I’m criticizing him. I mean, hey, if he’s getting away with it, why not keep fouling? His toughness in the centre of the park has been a vital part of the team’s success. But with all of those fouls I just can’t believe he hadn’t picked up a yellow.

- Also thought van Bommel was insane to kick out at Sebastien Fernandez so late in the game, especially when he basically knew he was off to the World Cup final.

- While the team did look good with Rafael van der Vaart in the centre of midfield, I think the Dutch will welcome the steel of Nigel De Jong back with open arms for the final, whether their opponents are Spain or Germany.

- Couple of good stats from @OptaJoe: Maarten Stekelenburg has conceded more goals from outside the box (3) than any goalkeeper at the 2010 World Cup finals, and Diego Forlan is the first player to score three goals outside the box in a single World Cup since Lothar Matthäus in 1990.

- You could make a case that Forlan has been the best attacking player at the tournament. While there have been other standout attackers like Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, David Villa, etc, those players have been part of teams that have been functioning quite well offensively, while Uruguay have often been deployed very defensively tactically, leaving Forlan to create goals with his own individual brilliance.

- Other than Forlan, was impressed with a lot of Uruguay’s players at this tournament. Diego Perez was a tank in the middle of the park, Maxi Pereira played very well at right back, and two guys who couldn’t play today — Jorge Fucile and Diego Lugano — also had excellent tournaments.

- All tournament long we’ve been trying to figure out who Forlan reminds us of. We ended up deciding on a combination of Glenn Close and Owen Wilson.

 

Notes from Kristian

- When he scored, I think that was the first time Giovanni van Bronckhorst had been that far up the field this whole tournament.

- Thought Oscar Tabarez showed good tactical flexibility again, with Diego Forlan playing up top and Walter Gargano coming in to help Uruguay keep the ball in midfield. His only problem today was that he was going up against a good coach who has better players at his disposal.

- For the second straight game, Bert van Marwijk’s team had an excellent second half. The introduction of Rafael van der Vaart for Demy de Zeeuw made a big difference for the Dutch in the final third of the pitch.

- Outstanding tackle from Dirk Kuyt in the box at the end of the match. Not surprising to see him make such a vital play.

- Wesley Sneijder has been the best player at this World Cup, in my opinion.

 

Notes from James

- Dirk Kuyt is a beast! Pure class, that man. Nothing he can’t do.

- Boy, the Netherlands sure are going to miss Arjen Robben in the final after he gets hurt in training later this week. That was a great, great header for the third goal.

 

Notes from Sid

- This result confirms that, for the first time in history, a European nation will win the World Cup outside of Europe.

- Spare a thought for Diego Forlan. He did everything he could to get his team into the final. What a player.

 

Three Stars

1. Wesley Sneijder

2. Dirk Kuyt

3. Diego Forlan

 

Links: Wire recap I Box Score