Cape Town: Netherlands may be heading into Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against Uruguay as the hot favourites to win, but with the ‘giant-killing’ nature of the game, anything can happen.
Under coach Bert Van Marwijk, Netherlands have picked up eight wins from eight games in qualifying, and have a 100 percent record from their five games in South Africa, which includes eliminating Brazil.
“I said to the Dutch Football Association two years ago that I was not going to this tournament just to take part in it. I’m a sportsman and if I go somewhere, I want to win,” Sport24 quoted Van Marwijk, as saying.
“People might think that’s arrogant, but we have proven we can beat Brazil, one of the best teams in the world. If that’s a fact, we should dare to say this, we should go for it,” he added.
However, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, who also steered the team to the Round of 16 in 1990, insists that his team cannot be written off.
“We are amongst the four best teams at this World Cup. This is something we would never have imagined before coming to South Africa. My players are very united. I don’t know how far we can go in the tournament,” Tabarez said.
“The Netherlands has some great players, but we cannot betray this group of players. If there is a glimmer of hope we must hang on. We will certainly not throw in the towel before playing that match. Holland will be very difficult, but not impossible,” he added.