The first of two days of quarter-final action at the 2010 World Cup was played today. The last African team was in action as the vuvuzelas blew in the hopes of driving a continent’s last hope to victory. In the day’s earlier game, two powerhouse teams met as the Netherlands faced the favoured Brazilians.
Netherlands 2 vs. Brazil 1 – While Switzerland upsetting Spain was a massive upset, it was only a group stage game and La Furia Roka moved on regardless. The Netherlands were a much more even match for Brazil but they still weren’t favoured. Hell, they didn’t even get out front first. Just 10 minutes in, Felipe Melo played a long ball through the middle of the Dutch side to Robinho who one-timed it past the keeper for the lead. From there the two teams traded chances but it wasn’t until the second half that the Oranje broke through. In the 53rd minute, Wesley Sneijder took a long shot from some 25 yards out that went in after defender Felipe Melo and keeper Julio Cesar collided allowing the goal in (though it was credited as a Melo own goal). Fifteen minutes later, an Arjen Robben corner was headed by Dirk Kuyt to Wesley Sneijder who put it home to put the Dutch up for good. Despite the Brazilians having a few good chances in the closing minutes, their fate was sealed when Felipe Melo was red carded off in the 73rd minute.
Uruguay 1 (4) vs. Ghana 1 (2) (PK) – They carried the hopes of a continent on their shoulders but couldn’t find the finish when push came to shove. With the game at their fingertips for the taking, the crossbar denied them victory. In the final moments of stoppage time, Ghana created all sorts of chaos in the Uruguayan box which ended when a shot was stopped from crossing the line by the hand of Luis Suarez. Suarez was immediately ejected but Asamoah Gyan powered his penalty kick off the crossbar. That sent it to penalty kicks to determine the winner of the game. Gyan made his attempt but keeper Fernando Muslera stopped two Black Star attempts to be the hero for Uruguay. Well, the real hero for Uruguay is Suarez. Despite being ejected, Suarez’s handball salvaged a shot at victory for La Celeste.
Man of the Day: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) – 1 goal
Germany vs. Argentina
Spain vs. Paraguay