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Soccer: Netherlands heads to World Cup final

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By Associated Press

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A Dutch treat: The Netherlands is in the World Cup final.

Long wasteful with its soccer talent, the Netherlands sure has found the right touch in this tournament.

Dutch stars Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben scored three minutes apart in the second half as the Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2 Tuesday night to advance to its first championship match since losing in 1978 to Argentina.

"We are so close," Sneijder said. "There is nothing bigger than the World Cup."

Winners of all six games in South Africa, the Oranje will face either Germany or Spain in Sunday's title game at Soccer City in Johannesburg. The Netherlands lost its other appearance in the final, to West Germany in 1974.

Both of those title-game defeats came during the golden period of Dutch soccer, and in the opposition's homeland. No such worries this time, and no country outside of Africa has had as much fan support as the Netherlands.

Inside Green Point Stadium it looked like a Florida orange grove. Outside, a Netherlands fan in a blue and white bodysuit stood on stilts and played a vuvuzela — badly. It was about the only thing that didn't measure up for the Dutch.


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