CAPE TOWN, South Africa ( TheStreet) -- The Netherlands defeated Uruguay, 3-2, on Tuesday in a scintillating match to advance to their first World Cup final since 1978.
The Dutch will play the winner of the Germany-Spain semifinal on Wednesday, with the championship set for Sunday at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
It will be the second all-European final in a row (Italy beat France in 2006), as South America's teams, which started out strongly, faltered late in the tournament; favorite Brazil bowed to Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
The Dutch have never won a World Cup, but have reached the final game two previous times. The Oranje are considered the best side not to have hoisted the trophy.The Netherlands took a 1-0 lead at the 18th minute on a brilliant strike by Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. Resilient Uruguay answered with a strike of its own by the prolific Diego Forlan to tie the score at 1-1 in the 41st minute. There was no quit in Uruguay, which was without one of its top scorers, Luis Suarez, who served out a red card he got for a game-saving handball vs. Ghana in the quarterfinals.
|Netherlands' Arjen Robben, left, heads the ball and scores his side's third goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Uruguay and the Netherlands at the Green Point Stadium.|