The Oranje advance to first finals in 22 years

They had to wait over 20 long years to get there but the Netherlands made it back to the World Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over Uruguay.

The Dutch made it back to the finals for the first time since 1978 and have extended their unbeaten streak to 24 games, dating back to 2008.

With the score tied at one-apiece with 20 minutes to play, the Netherlands potted two goals three minutes apart to take complete control of the match

Wesley Sneijder broke the draw with an errant shot from 18 yards out. His strike deflected off defender Alvaro Pereira’s leg and slowly rolled its way through a sea of bodies and past surprised keeper Fernando Muslera, finally finding its way into the far corner of the net.

In the 73rd minute, the Netherlands took advantage of a rattled Uruguay squad when Arjen Robben headed in a ball off a cross for the 3-1 lead.

Uruguay did its best to come back from the deficit, and provided some tense moments late when Maximiliano Pereira cut the lead to one.

Despite furious pressure over two more minutes of extra time, Uruguay could not score the equalizer.

The first half belonged to the Netherlands as well, controlling the majority of possession and creating better scoring opportunities.

They appeared to be on the right path towards a win when 35-year-old Giovanni Van Bronckhorst scored in the 18th minute, but a brilliant curling shot by Forlan late in the half had both teams tied at 1-1 going into the second half.

The Netherlands advance to the finals for the first time since two consecutive appearances in 1974 and 1978. The Oranje lost both games to the host nation, West Germany and Argentina, respectively.

No host nation this time around as their final round opponent will be the winner of the Spain-Germany semi-final matchup.

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By: Matthew Flowers
Posted: Jul 6 2010 10:30 pm
Filed under: 2010 World Cup