Uruguay National Soccer Team Finishes Fourth in the World

(12/07/10) The Uruguay national soccer team ended up in the FIFA World Cup final four, with the other three teams being among Europe’s most prestigious powerhouses. Uruguay finished fourth, but played at the level of their opponents and  made the whole country of Uruguay very proud.

July 2nd: Uruguay vs. Ghana
Uruguay barley edged their way past Ghana in a dramatic match on July 2nd that went into extra time and was finally decided with penalty kicks.

July 6th Uruguay vs. Netherlands
On July 6th Uruguay played well against the Netherlands with a final score of Uruguay 2, Netherlands 3. Although Uruguay did not win, they held their own with one of their best players, Luis Suárez, sitting out as a result of a penalty in the Ghana match.

July 10th Uruguay vs. Germany
On July 10th Uruguay played a match with Germany to determine third place. The final score was Uruguay 2, Germany 3. The match was close and the last kick of the match was by Uruguay striker, Diego Forlán. The ball hit the pole and glanced upward, giving the match to Germany. Some say the most memorable moment in the 2010 World Cup was the look on Forlán’s face after that fateful kick.

After the match with the Netherlands Uruguay’s coach, Oscar Tabarez, said “They managed to play at an equal level with Holland but didn’t manage to score the winning goal in the final moments. I couldn’t ask for more from these players and nor could Uruguay.” Coach Tabarez’s sentiments were shared by the people of Uruguay, many of whom paraded proudly in the streets, even after Uruguay’s close losses with Netherlands and Germany.

After Oscar Tabarez’s speech following Uruguay’s narrow defeat by the Netherlands, ESPN reported:
Above all they had their coach Tabarez, who handled controversy and acclaim with the same dignity. He was applauded off the podium after Tuesday night's press conference; you can guess it was as much for his performance as for his team's.

Uruguay striker, Diego Forlán, won the Golden Ball award for being the best individual player in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Upon receiving the award, Forlán made the following comment to a reporter with FIFA.COM
…The fact that my team-mates and a lot of people back home in Uruguay pinned their hopes on me, and I was able to repay that faith out on the field while being just another member of the team, makes me feel very happy…

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