Oranje World Cup favourites

Netherlands reached the semi-finals for the first time in 12 years when the effects turned to Brazil to win 2-1 onto the field, “Nelson Mandela Bay” in Port Elizabeth in the quarterfinals of the World Cup 2010 Soccer Championship in South Africa.

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Netherlands will now play unfancied Uruguay in the semi-finals and while Bert van Marwijk’s side seemed to be heading towards defeat at half-time, Sneijder feels they now have real hope of emulating the Dutch sides of 1974 and 1978 by reaching the final.

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“It seemed pretty much impossible to progress at half-time. However, we told each other during the break that we had to give it our all and that we could still make it to the semi-final,” said Sneijder.

Sneijder said of his goal: “It was my first headed goal – and I don’t think it will happen again. Chances are it won’t. But it was great. It just slipped off my bald head and went into the net. It was a great feeling.”

Sneijder's Headed Goal

Netherlands won all three of their games in Group E but only defeated Slovakia 2-1 in the second round and have not been considered amongst the leading contenders to win the tournament.

But after defeating a Brazil side that were perceived to be members of that elite group, Van Marwijk says he is even more convinced that he can lead Netherlands to their first ever World Cup victory.


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