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Gallant Uruguay bow out after Dutch defeat

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-06 06:24:27

CAPE TOWN: Uruguay`s 60-year wait for another World Cup final appearance will continue for at least another four years after they lost 3-2 to the Dutch in Tuesday`s semi-final.

Having won both the 1930 and 1950 World Cup finals, Uruguay were carrying the flag for South America alone after giants Brazil and Argentina bowed out in the quarter-finals, but the Netherlands denied them a place in Sunday`s final.

Uruguay came into the semi-final having conceded just two goals -- to South Korea and Ghana -- but they conceded the first against Holland after just 18 minutes following Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst`s spectacular strike.

Uruguay hit back through captain Forlan`s fourth goal of the tournament and his country`s eighth of the tournament which he rifled his shot into the back of the Dutch net from 30 metres out on 41 minutes.

La Celeste (the Sky Blues) were denied the final their supporters craved when Inter Milan`s Wesley Sneijder and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben both scored within three minutes in the second-half.

Maxi Pereira grabbed a consolation goal in stoppage time, but it was too late to deny the Dutch.

Before Tuesday`s defeat, the last World Cup meeting between the two sides was in 1974, when Johan Cruyff`s side triumphed 2-0 with Cape Town goal-scorer Forlan`s father Pablo on the opposing team.

In South Africa, Uruguay opened their World Cup campaign with a goalless draw against France in Group A on the first day of the four-week competition.

They beat hosts South Africa and Mexico to reach the second round.

In the last 16, they saw off South Korea before the dramatic quarter-final victory on penalties against Ghana.

It has been a long road to the semi-final for Oscar Tabarez`s side and the coach made six changes against the Dutch to cope with injuries and suspensions.

Striker Luis Suarez was suspended after being red-carded for his deliberate goal-line handball that denied Ghana, while skipper Diego Lugano failed to recover from a ligament strain.

Uruguay will now face the losers of Wednesday`s semi-final between Germany and Spain in Saturday`s third-placed play-off in Port Eliabeth.

The tiny South American nation, with a population of just 3.5 million, have lost both of their previous appearances in the consolation match, the last time to West Germany in 1970.

BDST: 0243hrs, July 7, 2010

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