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

Comments (28)

  1. Since Holland de-railed Brazil, the whole world was saying they would underestimate Uruguay and pay for it. Since they once again proved everybody wrong, and are in the World Cup Final, can the Oranje have some respect now?

  2. Good for the Dutch…but they better play better than that or else the Germans or Spanish will KILL them…

  3. Love the win today, also love how after every game all you hear is that the oranje didnt play that well and they better play better… or else…
    They have won every game, you dont get points for style(Argentina, dutch in the past). All you have to do is beat the team infront of you that day. This Holland team has heart and mental strength that I have never seen from a dutch side…


  4. This “they need to play better” shit needs to stop. We needed to play better against Japan after the match with Denmark, then we needed to play better against Cameroon, then we needed to play better against Slovakia, then we needed to play better against Brazil, then we needed to play better against Uruguay, now we need to play better against Germany/Spain or else we’re going to get KILLED!

    Is there a common theme here?

    As for today, the only people who thought Uruguay was going to be easy are the people who wanted the Dutch to take them lightly and choke. Well guess what, the world has been proven wrong yet again! The Final will be a close match. Win or lose, the Dutch have finally shaken the choker stereotype. It’s just too bad most of the world won’t agree.

    KJ, I expect to see you in clogs tonight!!!

  5. what chance did uruguay have.the cavani penalty not called ,the second holland gol is offside the players blocks the goalies view.vanbommel has to kill someone and still doenst get a yellow card,maybe beckenbauer is his relative.he already said= holland/germany final.spain gets the shaft tomorrow.so really what chance did uruguay have, fifa doesnt want uruguay in the final,but if im wrong the guys on the footy show can correct me.fifa=uefa money ,influence equals =worldcup.im sure platini,blatter,beckenbauer all happy now got rid of the last southamerican, just what they wanted.maybe beckenbauer already bought the trophy?.will see

  6. thank you for sparing us spaces for the majority of that post gonzalo.

  7. Joe – Re Forlan: I was thinking young Jeremy Roenick, though Close/Wilson is about right.

  8. Gonzalo, Uruguay got everything out of this game that they deserved. They did very little for the first 90 minutes of the match and were even blessed with two additional minutes of stoppage time(if you want to argue FIFA were out to get them).

    The offside on the second goal was very debateable and if he was offside it wasn’t by more then an inch or two and the official making the call is human and 25 yards away. These things happen in every game.

    Lance the Dutch do need to play better in the Final then they did today. It’s true that they’ve proven you don’t need to play perfect, beautiful football to win but at the same time they will need to elevate their play from today. I think a large part of it was the lack of De Jong in the middle as Vander Vaart is a stereotypical lazy and complacent player when he comes on.

    There were stretches of the game today where the team looked disjointed and the effort we had seen the last few games wasn’t there all the time. The nice thing is they proved once again they can flip that switch at any time and bring back that beautiful attacking football when they need a goal.

    Bring on Spain or Germany I think it will make for a great final. My money’s on Spain as Germany has only looked good against horrible defending teams and Spain will play them physical and tough like Serbia did and that’s when the youth and inexperience may fail them.

  9. ATTN: JAMES SHARMAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mr. “ENGLISHMAN”, Uruguyay will beat Holland as you claimed yesterday? Do you have the stomach to admit you were wrong “again” ON AIR?:
    I hope you guys once again say that Holland will lose so that none of you can say after the final that you supported the Dutch.

    If you are a man you will admit you were wrong.

    It will be Oranje standing at the end !!

  10. My point was not that we don’t have to play better to win the Final. My point was that the phrase has been used after every match Holland has played. Even after beating Brazil, the majority were not convinced that we could go on to beat Uruguay. It’s been frustrating to see the lack of respect given to the Oranje just because they don’t have 30 goals to go with 6 straight wins.

    We could have gone up 4-1 or 5-1 in each of the knockout rounds so far. It’s not like we’ve lacked the chances, just a bit of finish. That said, we’ve done enough to get us through. In a World Cup, that’s all that matters. It’s an attitude that the Dutch FINALLY have.

    Today was the first match I thought we could have done more, but I agree that not having de Jong hurt us at midfield today, and Boulahrouz was a disaster at the back end. Getting van der Wiel back will be big as well. However, unlike past years, for the second straight knockout match, we’ve shown perseverance and pulled through with a win when our limits were pushed.

  11. Question for the panel tonight: with the Oranje making the World Cup final, is it wrong to expect that either Robben or Sneijder will win the FIFA player of the year award? With both having terrific club seasons and great WCs, who has the edge? Or does it go to a familiar foe like Messi, Ronaldo, Rooney?

  12. Holland1234,

    People get predictions wrong all of the time. I don’t see why you’re so upset about it. It’s not like James hates the Netherlands or anything.

    Kristian also wore clogs on the air after A Dutch win, and has been driving their bandwagon. I really don’t see where you’re coming from.

  13. Question for tonight.

    All the German players play in their own domestic league.

    They all had a winter break. They look fresher than every team in the tournament.

    What do the guys think?

  14. I dream of a team with Forlan & Villa leading the charge Sid . Two goals off of posts for Holland today , with the keepers hand just shy of the stop , dictates how focused the dutch are . If Spain beat Germany , it’s Holland’s cup IMO !! If Holland must face Germany , I’m afraid the Dutch will melt to a man , along with a nation that just can’t forget 74 … GO SPAIN GO!!

  15. “- 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.”

    Not bad.

    I’ve been doing the same thing with a buddy of mine… Forlan definitely does look like somebody but we can’t figure out who. We’re convinced it’s an 80s hair metal rocker… closest match I’ve got so far is David Coverdale of Whitesnake.

  16. “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.”

    Michael Bolton doppleganger?

  17. Regardless of the results, this knockout stage has been the best in recent memory. This tourney might not end up matching the goals total of the last WC, but it seems to be the polar opposite in design: Germany 06 was free flowing in group stages, then tightened up like a frog’s butt. Conversely, the group stages were disappointing in SA 10, but the knockout stage has been just that – a complete knockout. It’s like watching a Rocky movie the way teams are trading punches. Fantastic stuff!


  18. I say Messi, Villa, Rooney, Robben, and Schnieder are all in the running. I say the award goes to Schnieder because although Robben was extremely good, Schneider was on the team the won the Champions league. Villa could make a case by his form in this world cup, but I don’t think he’ll get it. My vote would go to Forlan. I have watched every one of Uraguay’s games this year, and aside from Suarez, he was their only real scoring threat. Urugauay is a very defensive team, and they do it very well, but without Forlan they would not have made it anywhere close to the semis, he carried that team.

  19. Bit hindsightical there Holland 1234 , get a grip & don’t let go Lol!!

  20. chrsfrsn, who the hell is Schneider?

  21. @chrsfrsn…good point about Sneijder actually winning the Champions League, that’s what I think makes a big difference here. I actually hadn’t thought about Forlan, even though he won Europa and had a very strong WC. I still think the 2 Dutch players had an overall stronger year. As for Villa, he’ll have a chance to win this award now that he’s with Barca, but I agree with what the panel said the other night, playing for Valencia for so long probably hurt his reputation and potential to win major awards (in the beginning).

  22. No Cheats in the final..SUPERB. STUFF IT SUAREZ!!

  23. question for the footy guys? did u guys hear the rumor that godin and fucile might be heading to the premiership? with the copa america next year and the european championship coming up will the score show those tournaments?and finally any chance that you might show games from southamerica? we all love futbol from all over the planet, dont we?just trying to get more games to see,anyway its good to see u guys in action,even the computer guy.haha.

  24. Being an Swansea fan , what’s the chances of putting aside 5 minutes toward the Championship division , even into League 1 (cheers)

  25. Since James thinks the 3rd place game is a joke, hopefully the Uruguayans will put Suarez in goal where he belongs for the entire match.

  26. If the Dutch go on to win the cup, would that put Wesley Sneijder at the top of the heap for world player of the year? Who else is in that disscusion this year? Messi, Ronney, Maicon Sweinsteger, Sergio Ramos, Julio Cesar……any other suggestions?

  27. Eljero Elia looked like a deer in headlights when he had that excellent chance for a goal. My dad said it the best. “Forlan? he played in the seventies (refering to his father)”

  28. In contrast to all of all of these people saying that the Dutch need to play WAY better, I’d argue that the way the results have occurred is the best thing that could happen for them. Think back to previous tournaments (I’m going to use Euro 2008, as it is the most recent example). Those previous talented Dutch teams have annihilated some of their competition, including good teams like France and Italy (ok, at least teams people thought would be good) in that Euro tournament. When that happens, the Dutch teams have tended to get overconfident and choke (kind of like their quarterfinal loss to Russia). They definitely took Germany lightly in the 1974 final, especially after taking that early 1-0 lead.

    So, I think the fact that they have won all of their games (except the first) by one goal and had to fight it out will prevent that overconfidence. They have done just enough to win and have proven to themselves that they are good enough to win but aren’t infallible. Plus, they know full well they were dominated by Brazil in the first half, and know that Germany and Spain are both capable of doing the same if they aren’t careful, so I think this gives them their best chance to actually take the title. Will they? I have no idea. I sure hope so though. (I’m a Brazilian and although I was devastated by that quarterfinal, I have always had a soft spot for the Dutch…just in case anyone wanted to call me a Dutch homer)

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