I've been criticising this particular world cup since it began, mainly due to the standard of football I have had to endure. I guess the game has just changed over the years. Stats and systems seem to have more influence in the game than the raw passion I used to watch as a boy.
In saying that I am a contradiction to myself as it's been a few days since I've seen a game and I was beginning to feel a pang began to yell from starvation.
The first of the semi-finals took place in Cape Town tonight with the Dutch trying to emulate the teams of 1974 & 1978 who reached the final. They succeeded with a narrow win over surprise package Uruguay by three goals to two. Though the game was far from a spectacle Holland deserved their place in the final though will have to improve immensely if they are to be crowned this coming weekend.
Van Bronckhorst put the Dutch ahead on 18 minutes with his contender and my own choice so far for goal of the tournament with an unstoppable effort from 30 yards. The Dutch looked to be cruising before Diego Forlan missiled a shot past the Dutch keeper which he should have really saved.
The Uruguayans threatened the ascendancy in the second half but a controversial Wesley Sneidjer goal on 70 minutes and a Robben header three minutes later had the Dutch back in the driving seat.
A late strike from Pereira was not enough to prevent the Uruguayans from a miserable week ahead as they wait to see who they will play for third place.
Sneidjer made his way to the top of the scoring charts with David Villa and it could be a straight shootout between them for the golden boot now and perhaps player of the tournament.
I said at the start of the tournament that my heart would be with the Dutch for my own reasons. There final berth actually brightened up a rather dull tournament, one that will go down in history as one of the poorest ever for a variety of reasons. Bad officialdom, stupid footballs and FIFA's governing of the body that should be doing everything to develop the great sport it once was. But judging by tonight's match working on a favourable interest rate from VISA seems more to their liking. 'Tis a sad state of affairs.
As usual my match prediction was wrong! Enough said....