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Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sneijder overjoyed to reach final

Wesley Sneijder could not contain his excitement after scoring in Netherlands' 3-2 victory over Uruguay to help his side reach a first World Cup final since 1978.

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Sneijder put the Oranje 2-1 up in the second half, after goals from Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Diego Forlan had sent the teams into the half-time break on level terms.

Arjen Robben netted a third to seemingly put the game beyond doubt before Uruguay rallied late on, scoring a second goal courtesy of Maxi Pereira.

But Bert van Marwijk's side held on and Sneijder admitted he was still having to pinch himself at the thought of playing in the World Cup final on Sunday against either Germany or Spain.

"This is simply incredible," Sneijder told NOS. "It was a very tough battle, but I'm delighted that we've made it. We got a bit sloppy towards the end of the match and Uruguay came quite close in the dying seconds. However, the most important thing is that we won the match. It's all about winning your matches and nobody cares how we did it. It has yet to sink in that we've made it to the final.

"I've had a lot of success at club level this past year, but playing in a final is always extremely exciting. The Champions League final is the biggest thing on club level, but the World Cup final beats everything. We're so close to winning the tournament now. We will take our time to enjoy the moment for now before we shift our focus to the final again."

Van Marwijk echoed Sneijder's sentiments regarding grinding out the result regardless of performance, and admitted his pride at the achievments of his players in reaching the final.

"First final since '74 and '78, that came up in my mind in the second half," Van Marwijk said. "It's so very special and as a small country we can be so proud. After the second and third we should have scored a fourth. That would have prevented that final phase. But this is a World Cup. It doesn't matter how you do it it's all about the result."

Forward Dirk Kuyt, who provided the assist for Robben's headed goal, is crossing his fingers it will be third time lucky for Holland in Sunday's showpiece.

"We are so close to writing history,'' Kuyt said. "This is the third time we have reached the final. Now we have to win it. What has happened is unbelievable. It is a bit unreal. We felt before the tournament we had the quality in the team to win it and after a long journey we are in the final. It is an incredible feeling.''

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