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World Cup: Uruguay vs. the Netherlands; Holland leads 3-1

July 6, 2010 |  1:09 pm

Goals by Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben three minutes apart gave the Netherlands a 3-1 lead in the 74th minute of its World Cup semifinal with Uruguay in Cape Town, South Africa, moving them a big step closer to Sunday's final in Johannesburg. 

Sneijder's shot from just inside the penalty box on the right wing gave the Netherlands a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute of its World Cup semifinal with Uruguay.

Sneijder was surrounded by three defenders when he got off the shot, which appeared to be intended for forward Robin Van Persie, who was unmarked closer to the goal. But Van Persie pulled his leg back and let the ball go and he slipped it just inside the post on the far side.

Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera appeared slow to react and may have been screened by his defenders on the shot. Or he may have anticipated a deflection from Van Persie.

There was much less guesswork involved with Robben's goal, which game on a header.

In the 66th minute Uruguay's Diego Forlan just missed on a right-footed free kick from about 25 yards out, the same spot from where he scored his team's only goal in its quarterfinal win over Ghana.

A minute later the Netherlands misfired twice, first when Rafael van der Vaart's left-footed shot was stopped on a diving one-handed save by Muslera and then on a rebound that sailed over the net.

-- Kevin Baxter reporting from Durban, South Africa