Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Uruguay 2-3 Holland in the 2nd/4th Place Play-Off

After that, you'd have to assume that the winner is coming from Spain-Germany.

What's been the most depressing image of the World Cup so far?

A talented France team, so uninterested that they sabotaged their own chances?

Or Uruguay and Holland, in a SEMI-FINAL, by contrast with France, trying their damnedest, but struggling to find a single moment of cohesive play to grace the stage?

The five goals are misleading. A speculative effort from Van Bronckhorst flew almost surreally into the top corner. Twenty minutes or so later, and Stekelenburg failed to deal with a Forlan pot shot. Nothing much happened in-between.

Second half, Holland failed miserably to rise above their workmanlike opposition, until a Sneijder effort dribbled past the keeper and nestled almost apologetically in the corner. The goal was not ruled out despite the ball coming through an offside Van Persie.

Holland followed that up with the only decent bit of team play in the match, and Kuyt's cross was nodded in clinically by Arjen Robben.

Uruguay's late goal sparked a brief period of pressure on the Dutch before the final whistle, but extra-time would have been torture for neutrals. After such a poor showing, it is hard to escape the notion that international football is again locked in a slide. Hopefully a thriller between Germany and Spain tonight can partially redeem the tournament.

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