Groovy Sneijder 'Heads' Dutch into Semifinals

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Wesley Sneijder
Port Elizabeth: Wesley Sneijder helped Netherlands knockout tournament favorites Brazil, as the Dutch produced a top-notch performance coming from behind to win by 2-1 margin in Port Elizabeth.

The Dutch were trailing at half-time to Robinho's early goal in Port Elizabeth, but the Dutch drew level through Felipe Melo's own goal and Sneijder headed the winning goal 22 minutes before full time. The five-time World champions in the process looked shell-shocked and eventually were unable to recover ending their World Cup 2010 dream.

It was the Samba boys who started brightly in the first-half, Robhino broke the deadlock for the Brazilians in the 10th minute. Felipe Melo played a superb ball through the centre of the Dutch defense from the halfway line. Robinho, free of his marker Van der Wiel, tucked in the opening goal for the Brazilians.

The Dutch then came up with an effort in the 23rd minute as Dirk Kuyt tested Julio Cesar with a low drive but his shot was denied by the goalkeeper.

Juan after the 25th minute mark got a golden opportunity to put Brazil ahead, as Dani Alves put a low cross from the right but he could only manage to hit the ball over the cross-bar. Then the trio of Robhino, Fabiano and eventually Kaka combined well to shrug off Dutch defense but Kaka's shot in the end was palmed away by Stekelenburg, the Dutch last-defense.

In the second half the Dutch drew level in the 53rd minute, thanks to a big misunderstanding between Julio Cesar and Felipe Melo, as the latter flicked a header onto his own net. The Dutch then went on to score their second goal as Wesley Sneijder profited from slack Brazilian defense. Sneijder headed past Cesar to find his third goal of the finals and most importantly the goal that set the two teams apart at the end of the match.

The Dutch side will now face Uruguay, in the semi-finals.

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