Once again, the stalwart Dutch kept their heads and battled to a well deserved win over an Uraguyan side who fought until the end. Holland have never won the World Cup and only reached the final twice before, in 1974 and 1978. This team may be be more pragmatic than the 1978 side, but they have determination and grit in spades.
At first, both sides seemed understandably tentative, but then Holland scored. The goal came from an unexpected source, their quiet, efficient skipper, Van Bronkhorst and Amsterdam exploded with joy. When Uraguay equalised, it unsettled the Dutch, and there was a nervous passage of play, that might have seen a lesser side buckle. But the Dutch stonewalled and then regrouped, like the pros they are.
After half time, two really terrific Dutch goals in the 70th and 73rd minutes, one from the brilliant Schneijder and the second from Robben, helped Holland breathe again. Uraguay fought bravely, and sneaked a last minute goal, but it was all too late. Holland will face Germany or Spain in the final.
The commentary at ITV irritated me to screaming point. The endless carping and criticism annoyed me so much I had to be physically restrained! No allowance was made for the fact that both sides might be slightly nervous at the importance of the occasion. Considering how the England team flopped like a souffle every time they played, you would have thought this was an aspect the commentators would have understood. Holland scored two really great goals, they didn’t buckle under pressure, and as their silver haired coach, Bert van Marwijk said, they played as a team (not like a load of sissy divas, like the England team.) Well done Holland, a sterling performance, from a truly courageous side.
BREAKING NEWS: The psychic octopus has predicted a Spanish win in the second semi-final tonight, to break German hearts. Dare we hope for a Spain/Holland final?
See Amsterdam erupt with joy on video here.