Right I promise that will be the first and last orange-based pun about the semi final, but as a Hollander I was thrilled last night.
Granted we don’t look as good as the Dutch normally do. There is too much back-passing and only a Netherlands fan can find something to appreciate in the destructive and downright dangerous work of midfield destroyer Mark Van Bommel. But Holland have dazzled for years without winning what they deserved to.
I would definitely take another ugly victory in the final on Sunday. That said there were some special moments against Uruguay. Dutch captain Giovanni Van Bronkhurst has been a much underrated player for years but he has seen, done and won a lot in his 35 years and is a true gentleman to boot. His rocket-of-a-shot lit up this contest, an incredible 30+ yards goal from a tight angle.
Another distinguished performer is Diego Forlan. Much maligned at Manchester United he has become an excellent all-round striker and his goal to level the scores at 1-1 was a cracker, even if the keeper should have done better.
The Dutch probably deserved to edge in front after half time even if Robin Van Persie looked offside. They started the second half aggressively, having taken off a holding midfielder and replaced him with the attack-minded Van de Vaart. And their superior class told over Uruguay when Arjen Robben nodded in to make it 3-1. The Dutch supporters, who have been talking of the final for a week, made a mistake to underestimate this Uruguay side though. Holland survived nervy moments at the end, eventually scraping it 3-2.
It’s a hard call as to who they will face in the final. Germany has played the kind of football usually associated with the past Dutch masters. However, they have not played a side as good as Spain yet and I think they will struggle when not faced with the same midfield gaps gifted to them by England and Argentina.
Germany is an incredibly exciting side and Bastian Schweinsteiger has been one of the players of the tournament. But they will miss Thomas Mueller, one of the players who has been so instrumental in turning defence into attack for Germany, as he is suspended for the Spain game. I think David Villa and the dangerous Andres Iniesta will get on the scoresheet. Whoever wins this epic battle will be favourites to take the trophy. As they showed against Brazil though, the underdogs tag might just suit Holland.
Semi final prediction
2 – 3 Germany
Today's blog has been written by Rory's dutch alterego