Controversially through to the semi-final stage, Uruguay will have to overcome all the hysteria surrounding Luis Suarez’s last-minute goal-saving handball against Ghana in the quarter-finals as they prepare to meet a Netherlands team who are still on cloud nine after defeating favorites Brazil in their quarter-final match-up. The Netherlands go into this clash at Green Point stadium as slight favorites with Uruguay being denied the services of some of their star names due to suspension.
It was arguably the biggest upset of the tournament so far and anybody who missed the second half of the Netherlands v Brazil game must have wondered what just happened. In the first half, Brazil were their free-flowing dominant selves. Dunga’s team appeared to have the game in the bag going in at half time 1-0 up and outplaying Holland in almost every area of the field. Then an early second half own goal from Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo turned the game in the Netherlands’ favor.
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Netherlands vs Uruguay Betting Odds:
Wesley Sneijder started to control midfield and his neat short inter-passing allowed Arjen Robben to find more space with the ball. At 1-1 the Dutch were in charge of the game and it was no surprise when Sneijder headed the ball into the goal to make it 2-1 after a great delivery into the box by Robben from a corner kick.
If Uruguay have learned anything from watching how the Dutch played against their South American neighbors, it’s that defending set pieces is crucial. From open play, the Netherlands look quite slow and their attacks can easily be repelled by defenses that stick tight to Arjen Robben. But from set pieces they are well-trained. Each player knows the run they’re supposed to make and where the ball will be delivered by Robben’s left foot. With Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt misfiring and Bert van Marwijk steadfastly refusing to play the brilliant Eljero Elia, set pieces will be their best weapon against Uruguay.
You probably won’t see a more dramatic ending to a game at this World Cup then we saw in the quarter-final clash between Uruguay and Ghana. With a minute left on the clock, Luis Suarez blocked John Mensah’s goal-bound header with his hands, in the process getting himself sent off and conceding a penalty that Asamoah Gyan would go on to miss. This led to the penalty to shoot out which Uruguay won.
Now Uruguay must face the Netherlands with their joint leading scorer in the tournament, Suarez who joins defender Jorge Fucile in being suspended for this game. While another of their brilliant back line, Captain Diego Lugano, is injured and rated as highly doubtful to start this game. The dramatic game against Ghana certainly took a heavy toll on the Uruguayan squad.
Diego Forlan is obviously the danger man for the Uruguayan team. He showed against Ghana that he’s not just a deadly marksman inside the box. The long-haired striker hammered home an equalizing free-kick from long range, leaving goalkeeper Richard Kingson grasping at air as the ball flew past him. If Uruguay are to advance to their first final in 60 years, Forlan looks the most likely man to take them there.
Without Luis Suarez and Jorge Fucile, this looks like the end of the road for Uruguay. The Netherlands simply have too much quality in their squad not to take advantage of their opponent’s depleted team. It will be a tense, tight game with few scoring chances. But with the Netherlands having the organizational superiority they should just edge it by one goal.
Netherlands vs Uruguay Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Uruguay.
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