words_Nick Engvall

You can doubt the Netherlands no more. With most critics as naysayers, Netherlands defeated one of the tournament’s favorites today to take the first of the four semi-final spots.

Five-time World Cup champions and expected finalists Brazil, scored a goal against themselves, and could not keep pace with the “Oranje” team.

The top ranked team in the world got on the board first with a goal from Robinho early. After that it was the heart of Netherlands team that proved to be stronger. Wesley Sneijder took a shot from quite a ways out that skipped off the head of Brazilian Felipe Melo to tie the match. In the 68th minute it was Sneijder again, this time heading a corner kick into the back of the goal to put Netherlands ahead for good.

Netherlands will face Uruguay who came away victorious in by far the most exhilarating match of the tournament so far. It came down to a shootout between Ghana and Uruguay and just as the Ghanaian team missed their very last opportunity of the extra time, their last shot in the shootout also came up disappointing.

Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty kick as time in the extra period expired, in what would have surely had the crowd at Soccer City Stadium going crazy, but instead the ball bounced off the crossbar. Ironically, the kick was rewarded to Ghana after a handball on the goal line by Luis Suarez. With the fifth kick in the shootout, after a stop from the Uruguayan goal keeper, Sebastian Abreu lightly tapped in a deceiving shot to give Uruguay the victory.

Saturday, Germany will face Argentina, and Spain will face Paraguay for the final two spots in the semi-finals.

Robhino of BrazilRobinho in the Nike T90 Laser.
Wesley Sneijder of NetherlandsWesley Sneijder of Netherlands in the Nike T90 Laser.

Nigel De Long of NetherlandsNigel De Long of Netherlands in the adidas adiPure III.

Arjen Robben of NetherlandsArjen Robben of Netherlands in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Dirk Kuyt and Mark Van Bommel of NetherlandsDirk Kuyt and Mark Van Bommel of Netherlands both wearing the adidas Predator X.

Diego Forlan of UruguayDiego Forlan of Uruguay in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Kevin Prince Boateng of GhanaKevin Prince Boateng of Ghana in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Sulley Muntari and Kevin Price Boateng of GhanaSulley Muntari in the Nike CTR 360 and Kevin Price Boateng  in the adidas F50 adiZero.

Asamoah Gyan of GhanaAsamoah Gyan of Ghana in the adidas F50 adiZero.