Tabarez impressed by Dutch

Disappointed coach admits goals took Uruguay by surprise

Tabarez: Impressed by Holland

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Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez praised Holland's goal-scoring ability following his side's exit from the World Cup.

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The South Americans, who had only conceded two goals heading into the semi-final clash, were seen off 3-2 by the Oranje in Cape Town on Tuesday to end their hopes of lifting their first World Cup trophy since 1950.

Uruguay were powerless against Giovanni van Bronckhorst's first-half opener, and despite posting goals courtesy of Diego Forlan and Maxi Pereira, they could not hold off strikes from Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben.

Coach Tabarez commended the Netherlands players' talent for finding the back of the net, admitting their shots took his side off guard.

Beautiful

"The Dutch can create a goal from any situation," said Tabarez. "These were beautiful goals for football but rather unexpected for us.

"If we had to choose a way to lose it would have been this way.

"This was another opportunity for us to show Uruguay's intentions, to play as equals over and above our limitations."

The coach added of the third-place play-off in Port Elizabath: "Saturday's match is important to us in that sense.

"When we look back, we can say we are among the four semi-finalists, the other three are powerhouses of Europe."

Tabarez expressed his pride at his side's performance, insisting the result could have gone either way.

Proud

"I believe we could have put this team that played against us (Netherlands) in difficulty at any point," he said.

"I'm proud of the team. They've played on an equal footing with the other team. You couldn't ask for more from these players.

"Now we have seen the second goal was offside and the match could have been different for us. They gained in composure.

"The (Dutch) team has an attacking spirit, one of the best in this tournament but we never gave up and our last (stoppage time) goal showed we were trying until the end."

Uruguay defender Egidio Arevalo voiced his disappointment at missing out on the final, but confessed the Dutch side had proved tough competition.

"After many years together, we wanted to go as far as the final," said Arevalo. "But we were defeated by a very strong side, that's football."