Dutch goalkeeper MAARTEN STEKELENBURG of Ajax Amsterdam is able to get his right hand on the shot from Brazil star midfielder KAKA of Spanish giant Real Madrid and steer the ball to safety during the Netherlands’ dramatic 2-1 upset victory in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Keystone/AP/Reuters)
The build-up from Brazil certainly seemed deadly enough. A run down the left flank from ROBINHO, on loan from England’s Manchester City to FC Santos. A clever heel pass back from the Spanish-based striker LUIS FABIANO of Sevilla.
The curling drive with pace was ticketed for the upper ninety and certainly would have put the game, for all intents and purposes, out of reach for the Dutch just a little over half an hour into the quarterfinal match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Fortunately for supporters of the Netherlands, the 27-year-old Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper, MAARTEN STEKELENBURG, was in excellent form and able to keep his team in contention.
After all, Holland were never coming back from 2-0 down to defeat the traditional titans of Brazil, even if about an hour would have been left to play.
Whether or not Holland will go on to win the 2010 World Cup remains to be seen. Should that materialize, the memorable save from Stekelenburg on Kaka will only take on added significance. In any case, the effort from the Dutch goalkeeper will command serious consideration for save of the final tournament from South Africa.