Created on 06-07-2010 at 00:00 AM
Bayern will have at least two players in the 2010 World Cup final this Sunday after Arjen Robben and Mark van Bommel helped the Netherlands to a 3-2 victory over Uruguay in Tuesday’s first semi-final. A 62,479 crowd at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town saw Giovanni van Bronckhorst (18), Wesley Sneijder (70) and Robben (73) net for the Elftal. Diego Forlan had earlier levelled for the South Americans four minutes before half-time, but Maxi Pereira’s stoppage-time second came too late for Uruguay. The Dutch now face either Germany or Spain in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Robben’s headed goal
The evening was one to savour for Bayern superstar Robben. The 26-year-old not only set his side firmly on course for victory with his second-half strike, but also added to his arsenal of attacking weaponry. Robben rose like an experienced centre-forward to head Dirk Kuijt’s cross back across the keeper and in at the near post, taking the winger up to two goals for the tournament. The skilled dribbler was substituted on 90 minutes, but club-mate Van Bommel covered the full distance. The Bayern skipper saw a yellow card at the end, but remains eligible for the final.
“It wasn’t a great game today, but we’re in the final and we’re delighted,” a visibly relieved Van Bommel said afterwards. “We’ve won all six games here, and we’re in good shape.” The 33-year-old criticised his side’s first-half display, but felt the second 45 minutes were much improved. “We were better organised, and that made it much easier.” The game was close for a spell in the period following Forlan’s equaliser, but the double whammy from Sneijder and Robben in the space of three minutes effectively settled the contest.
Rooting for Germany
“It's unbelievable and a terrific feeling,” enthused Robben, as the men in orange reached the World Cup final for the first time in 32 years. “Now we’re obviously set on winning the Final.” Bayern team-mate Van Bommel was just a year old back in 1978 when the Dutch fell 3-1 in the final to hosts Argentina. Robben made no secret of his desire to face Germany and the likes of Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger on Sunday. “I’m naturally supporting Germany tomorrow. They deserve to make the final, they’ve knocked out England and Argentina, which is just unbelievable. Holland against Germany would be my dream final.”
Robben expressed delight at the praise and support for him and Van Bommel coming from Bayern headquarters. “It just confirms that my decision to move to such a big club was the right one. Everyone at Bayern has been texting us and saying how thrilled they are that we’re in the Final.”