Uruguay target Robben as danger man

Tabarez has drawn up a plan to stop
Netherlands forward Arjen Robben in their World Cup semi-final in Cape Town on
Tuesday.

Sebastian Abreu, hero of the
shoot-out win over Ghana, said: “Tabarez has been talking to us about Robben
and how to stop a player like him. But it’s always different when you are on
the field.

“So we know how to do it but
whether the actual execution actually comes off is another thing.”

A hamstring injury meant Bayern Munich
winger Robben did not start a game for the Dutch at the tournament in South
Africa until the second round win over Slovakia.

However, he is expected to be the
key man as Bert van Marwijk’s side look to achieve a first World Cup triumph
for the Netherlands. Botafogo striker Abreu has been a crucial factor for the
South Americans, having scored the goal that sealed Uruguay’s qualification for
the finals.

He then audaciously chipped the
crucial penalty straight down the centre to hand them a 4-2 win in their
quarter-final shoot-out against Ghana.

It gave Uruguay their first
semi-final place since 1970 but the towering striker said their experienced
coach is making sure they are not complacent.

“Tabarez has asked us to
concentrate fully, not just in the matches, but also in training,” added Abreu.
“He is very satisfied with our work. Looking at the Dutch, we have watched a
lot of videos on their team because we don’t know too much about them.”

Uruguay have a proud World Cup
history, having been the first hosts and twice winning the competition – one of
only five countries with multiple victories. But since finishing fourth in
1970, Uruguay have failed to go past the second round stage in four World Cup
finals appearances.

Of the four sides left in the competition,
they are considered to be the outsiders but Tabarez is daring to dream about
returning home as world champions.

To do so Uruguay will have to get
past a Dutch side criticised for an unambitious style of play but who had a
perfect record in their eight World Cup qualifying games and have continued
that run by winning all five matches in South Africa.

Uruguay will also have to do so
without striker Luis Suarez, who has spent the last three years terrorising
Dutch domestic defences with Ajax but is banned for the semi-final – as is
defender Jorge Uruguay coach Oscar Fucile.

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