Skip to content

World Cup – Semi #1

Netherlands 3 – Uruguay 2

Neither team ever took control of this exciting, back and forth game. Netherlands were better in the first half, although not by much. Dutch left back Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored an unlikely 30 yard beauty on 18′, after picking up the ball near the touchline and moving in a few strides.  It was among the finest strikes seen at this tournament, striking the inside of the right post 2 inches below the crossbar. Uruguayan star Diego Forlan also scored a powerful strike against the run of play in the 41st minute, from 20 yards or so in the center. The teams went into the break level.

The second half continued back and forth, with both teams having possession and both teams making minor chances. Controversy came on 70′.  Wesley Sneijder got the ball at the top of the area on the left post, and took a shot.  After a couple of Uruguayan deflections it went toward Robin van Persie, who stepped out of the way and allowed the ball past him and into the corner. The goal was allowed to stand, wrongly in my opinion. Three minutes later Arjen Robben scored a nice header from a Dirk Kuyt to effectively seal the game at 3:1. Uruguayan midfielder Maxi Pereira pulled one back in stoppage time with a seeing eye strike through a packed penalty area from the top right elbow.

Uruguay, the cinderella team of the tournament, will rightfully feel unjustly treated after this match. They had three VERY close offside decisions go against them when they had players in on goal in the first half, and then the same assistant allowed the Sneijder goal. One might say that they deserved it after Luis Suarez stole the previous game from Ghana with the handball.

Referee Note #1: The commentators got the offside discussion wrong, again. They focus on the deflections, which are irrelvant. The relevant questions are whether Robin van Persie was in an offside position when the shot occurred and whether he was “active”. The replays are pretty clear that he was in offside position, despite (Dutch) announcer Ruud Gullit’s assertions otherwise. RvP certainly thought he was; there is no other reason he would not have put a touch on a ball in that position. The second question is whether RvP was “active”. He had to get out of the way of the shot, was screening a defender away from the ball, and the goalie appeared to stop in front of him, so I think he was active.

Referee note #2: I fail to see how Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel escapes yellows for his consistently bad fouls.  He got a silly yellow late in stoppage time for kicking the ball away, but should have been booked several times earlier for terrible fouls (18′ no call, should have been red, 43′, 64′, 89′). Dutchman Khalid Boularouz was booked in the 70th for a hard (but fair) challenge far less dangerous than any of MvB’s. The same story has been played in all of the Dutch matches.  I don’t get it.

Posted in sports.

Tagged with , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.