Upto Uruguay to stop Sneijder and friends
It’s too good to be true. The hardworking players of Holland have defeated the mighty force of Brazil to reach their first World Cup semifinals since Argentina in 1978, writes Ruud Gullit.sports Updated: Jul 06, 2010 08:48 IST
It’s too good to be true. The hardworking players of Holland have defeated the mighty force of Brazil to reach the World Cup semifinals since 1998! This is sweet revenge for our Oranje elimination in the World Cups of 1994 and 1998 at the hands of the Selecao.
I look at my notes and see Robinho scoring easily in the 10th minute of the first half. I see Dutch goalie Stekelenburg denying Kaka and Maicon two clear goals. I see the entire Holland team desperately defending each run and trying to stay in the game.
Above all I see a Brazilian team unable to close out the game. In football one of the clear rules is, if you don't score when you can, sooner or later the other team will. Dunga will rue the decisions not to bring strikers Pato and Ronaldinho to this World Cup, as Robinho was not assisted by Kaka and Luis Fabiano in this key quarterfinal.
Capable Coach Van Marwijk made some adjustments in his half-time locker room that paid off. The two Dutch super talents, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben were moved close to each other, and the entire Dutch team began to press their Brazilian counterparts.
Sneijder has won four bongos in five games as best Dutch player in this World Cup. He certainly stood out in this game -- crossing the ball that caused the unfortunate Felipe Melo own goal after half-time, and, more importantly, heading in the assist from Kuyt.
At 1.70cm, Sneijder is the shortest man in the Dutch team, but that didn't stop him from scoring among giants like Lucio and Juan. After the Dutch goal Brazil fell apart in disbelief, and Felipe Melo was sent off.
Uruguay goalie Muslera was the hero for his team in the resulting penalty kicks to put his team to the world cup semifinal, against Holland. They have the players and mentality to upset the Dutch.
Chivach Sports Management
First Published: Jul 05, 2010 00:45 IST