South American Futbol - Libertadores, Sudamericana, World Cup 2010

Brazil exits the World Cup, Uruguay advances to the semifinals

Abreu Penalty

Abreu advances Uruguay to the semifinals

In one of the most dramatic games in recent World Cup history, Uruguay, the defending champions, defeated Ghana 4-2 on penalties to advance to a matchup with the Netherlands in the semifinals. After Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan missed the crossbar with the final penalty in extra time, the Charruas decided the game in a spot shootout.

Just before halftime, Sulley Muntari gave Ghana the lead with a 35-meter left-foot shot that outlasted Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Ten minutes after the break, though, Diego Forlan tied the score for Uruguay with a curling 20-meter free kick.

Both teams produced abundant opportunities to score throughout the hectic tempo of the game. Despite the 120 minutes of intense play, neither team was able to defeat the other.

As the game entered extra time, Uruguay and Ghana, two of the most interesting teams at the tournament, fought it out in the middle of the field and created no chances for the opposition.

After originally stopping a Stephen Appiah shot from going in the goal, Luis Suarez was handed a direct red card in the final minute of extra time for punching out a goal-bound attempt by Dominic Adiyiah from the goal-line.

Ghana was given a penalty kick, but Gyan, who had scored from the spot against Australia and Serbia, misfired, devastating the Ghanaian team and most of the 84,000 spectators at Soccer City stadium.

Sebastian Abreu defeated Ghana goalie Richard Kingson with a deft chip into the middle of the goal to send his team into the semifinals as Uruguay went on to win the penalty shootout 4-2. Maximiliano Pereira was the only Uruguayan who missed a penalty shot, with Muslera saving two for his country.

If Uruguay defeats the Netherlands on Tuesday in Cape Town, they will have the chance to determine the World Cup champions after a forty-year absence. Although Uruguay, champions of the World Cups in 1930 and 1950, will begin the match as the underdogs, they have a strong chance of surprising the Dutch.

Brazil was eliminated from the competition on Friday after losing to the Netherlands 2-1. Robinho’s goal gave Brazil a lead at the interval, but Wesley Sneijder and Felipe Melo’s goals gave the Dutch the victory. Wesley Sneijder’s goal put the Dutch ahead for good. Melo was later sent off for stamping on an opponent.

The tenacious Dutch hung on despite Brazil’s best efforts to force extra time, and they may have won by a larger margin had Brazil not left enormous gaps in defense as they urgently pushed all of their players to the attack.



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