The Dutch national team reached the World Cup semi finals on Friday afternoon by defeating Brazil 2-1. Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel played the entire match. Demy de Zeeuw remained on the sidelines. Van der Wiel is suspended for the semi final match after receiving a yellow card.
Brazil took a 1-0 lead after only ten minutes. On a good pass from Felipe Melo, Robinho took a hard shot straight through the Dutch defence, 1-0. A few minutes earlier, the Brazilian had already scored a goal, which was disqualified as offside.
Juan had a chance to make it 2-0, but his shot sailed high over Stekelenburg’s goal. The Ajax keeper – who played an outstanding match – made a perfect save soon afterwards on a Kaka shot, by boxing it out of the far corner.
Shortly before the break, former Ajax player Wesley Sneijder’s free kick headed towards Brazil’s goal. Felipe Melo headed the ball into his own goal, behind keeper Cesar. The tying goal came at the right time, with the Dutch team taking more initiatives as a result, and the Brazilians becoming more chaotic. Right before the 1-1 goal, Ajax player Van der Wiel got his second yellow card of the tournament, which means he will miss the semi final game.
Fifteen minutes after the tying goal, Kuyt headed the ball to Sneijder from Robben’s corner kick, and Sneijder then headed the ball past Cesar, 2-1. The goal erased Brazil’s early lead. “It was almost impossible in the first half” , said Sneijder to the NOS television camera, referring to the exciting second half. “We gave everything in the second half, and kept the pressure on. That’s great, and now we are among the last four teams. We’ll enjoy this, and then keep focus on the next match.”
The Dutch team’s opponent will be decided during the Uruguay – Ghana match on Friday evening. Uruguay, with Ajax players Luis Suarez and Nicolas Lodeiro, reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 1970. Ghana, the only African team still alive in the tournament, has made history by reaching the World Cup quarterfinals. Kick off is at 8.30p.m.