World Cup Today
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A look at Day 22 Friday at the 2010 World Cup (all times EDT):
Netherlands 2, Brazil 1, Netherlands advances to semifinals
Uruguay 1, Ghana 1, Uruguay wins penalty shootout 4-2, advances to semifinals
Perennial underachiever Netherlands stunned five-time champion Brazil as Wesley Sneijder set up one goal and scored the winner after the Dutch fell behind. The 2-1 victory avenged a semifinals loss to Brazil in 1998 and moved the Netherlands into the semifinals against Uruguay.
Uruguay survived a last-second penalty kick by Ghana in extra time and then won the shootout, 4-2, after a 1-1 draw to advance to the semifinals. Sebastian Abreu chipped in his penalty kick to give Uruguay the victory. Uruguay will play the Netherlands in the final four.
Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands, sent a cross into the penalty area that was deflected into the Brazil net by Felipe Melo for an own-goal. Then Sneijder put home a header off another header from Dirk Kuyt for the winner in a 2-1 upset.
Diego Forlan’s twisting 35-yard free kick tied Uruguay’s match with Ghana at 1-1, then he connected on the first penalty kick in the shootout. Earlier, he also set up Luis Suarez in front of the net, but the striker’s kick went wide.
Uruguay joins the final four for the first time since 1970, while Ghana fails to become the first African semifinalist.
GOAL OF THE DAY
Arjen Robben’s corner kick was back-headed by Dirk Kuyt across the goal mouth to Wesley Sneider, and one of the shortest players on the field leaped to head it home for the winner in the Netherlands’ 2-1 victory over Brazil.
Argentina, ranked seventh in the world, faces No. 6 Germany (10 a.m., Cape Town) in what has become an antagonistic matchup. Both sides have engaged in trash-talking – Germany eliminated Argentina from the 2006 World Cup in a shootout in the same round, and a near-brawl erupted afterward.
Argentina has won all four of its matches, taking Group B, then beating Mexico 3-1 in the second round. Germany won Group D despite a loss to Serbia, then defeated England 4-1 in the round of 16.
No. 2 Spain, the European champion, faces 31st-ranked Paraguay (2:30 p.m. at Johannesburg). Spain beat Iberian neighbor Portugal 1-0 to advance after winning Group H despite losing its first match to Switzerland. Paraguay was the surprise winner of Group F, helped by Italy’s collapse, and is in the quarterfinals for the first time.
David Villa is tied for the scoring lead with four goals and has been Spain’s most dynamic player. Paraguay played in the only penalty kicks shootout thus far, beating Japan 5-3 after a 0-0 draw. It has yielded only one goal thus far.
“We felt we were going to faint with each penalty.” – Uruguay’s Diego Forlan on the shootout with Ghana.