|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said his players can be proud of their efforts after their World Cup dream was ended with a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands.
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An early screamer from Giovanni Van Bronckhorst put the Dutch in front before Diego Forlan equalised but further strikes from Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben gave the Dutch a 3-1 lead. A late Maxi Pereira goal gave the South Americans hope but they couldn't force a late leveller.
Yet Tabarez was still delighted with his side's run to the final four, despite falling short of their first World Cup final appearance since 1950.
"I'm very proud of my players," he said. "Our opponents were better when it came to scoring goals against us.
"We went very far, no one expected that, so that helps the sadness of the defeat."
Uruguay only has a population of 3.5 million but Tabarez's men beat Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Ghana on their way to the semi-final.
Midfielder Egidio Arevalo added: "We had a good World Cup. A lot of years have passed since we've done so well."