Tuesday’s semi-final clash is certainly unusual. Not many gave either The Netherlands and Uruguay a chance to come this far when the 2010 finals kicked off on June 11.
<b1>Holland told anyone who cared to listen, that self-belief was part of the luggage they got to South Africa. Few listened. So often had the Dutch flattered to deceive in previous World Cups that they were quite an indigestible orange. Julie Foudy, a USA woman soccer star, said she’s had enough of heartbreaks supporting the team that dazzles but doesn’t deliver.
But this time Holland walked the talk by beating Brazil. “Please have faith in this Dutch squad because we do,” Holland coach Bert van Marwijk had said before taking on Brazil in the quarter-finals. With Uruguay it was different.
Seeing a group of reporters at their training session in Johannesburg, Diego Forlan smiled. On Monday, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said, "we are in a party, a celebration to where we hadn't been invited."
He also spoke about how for children, teenagers and "those below 30" making it to the semifinals has been such a momentous achievement because it hadn't happened in 40 years.
"Only a few people have really believed in us. So we have to enjoy World Cup, enjoy the match and make the most of it. This is a challenge for us but also a reason for great happiness," Tabarez said. Uruguay though are handicapped by the loss of striker Luis Suarez, who misses the game after being red-carded in the match against Ghana. Defender Jorge Ciro Fucile is also suspended while skipper injury-hit Diego Lugano and midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro are doubtful.