At half-time in Cape Town it's Uruguay 1-1 Netherlands. Gio van Bronckhorst's early long-ranger was cancelled out just before half-time by a similar effort from Diego Forlan.
The South Americans were, of course, without the services of hand-ball hero/villain Luis Suarez and left-back Jorge Fucile through suspension. Nicolas Lodeiro would also miss out after injuring his foot against Ghana, while a knock picked up against Ghana meant Diego Lugano wouldn't start. The Dutch, meanwhile, had to play without rising right-back star Gregory van der Wiel and holding midfielder Nigel de Jong.
The first chance came after Wesley Sneijder swung the ball into the box, having picked it up after Robben's first attempt came off of Martin Caceres. Muslera's punch wasn't convincing, and the ball landed at the feet of Dirk Kuyt, about 15 yards from the back post. The Liverpool forward took a touch and struck straight for goal, but his shot sailed over the bar.
Both sides enjoyed some of the ball in the first 15 minutes, but it was certainly the Dutch who looked the more dangerous side with it. While Uruguay were adjudged to be offside on a few occasions and trying a couple from distance, pressure from the Oranje was causing the Celeste to look a little uncertain in their defending.
And the pressure would pay off. Knocking the ball about towards the centre of the park, Sneijder passed the ball to his skipper, Gio van Brockhorst, who was skipping up from left-back. Who knows what possessed the captain to have a pop from 40-odd yards, but his sweetly struck shot drifted beautifully past Muslera, smacking off the inside of the woodwork before eventually ending up in the top corner of the Uruguayan goal. Holland had the advantage.
Martin Caceres then became the villain just before the half-hour mark. His dangerous acrobatics on the edge of the area saw his boot come off the face of Demy de Zeeuw as he tried an audacious overhead kick. The Barcelona-owned full-back was shown a yellow card by the Uzbekistanian referee for dangerous play while de Zeeuw sent a search party out for his teeth.
Edinson Cavani, who was failing to really get himself into the game, found himself with the ball deep inside the Dutch box. The Palermo forward held onto the ball far too long, leaving an unmarked Alvaro Pereira fuming in the centre. Pereira was afforded a second chance, though, with just over five minutes left in the first half, but his tame shot was aimed straight at Stekelenberg.
Just as it looked as though the South Americans were destined for a plane home, none other than Diego Forlan stepped up to produce another little piece of Celeste magic. The Uruguayan talisman found the ball in a central position, at a similar distance to van Bronckhorst's goal – and the outcome was the same. Beating Skekelenburg, the stinging shot shook the net and Oscar Tabarez's men found themselves back in the game just before half-time.