Highlights - Uruguay 2-3 Netherlands
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he was proud of his side's World Cup performance despite their 3-2 semi-final defeat by the Netherlands.
Uruguay exceeded all expectations after having to beat Costa Rica in a play-off to book their place in the finals.
"I'm proud of the team. They've played on an equal footing with the Netherlands. You couldn't ask for more from these players," said Tabarez.
"We went very far, no one expected it, so that helps the sadness of defeat."
appearance in the semi-final in Cape Town was their first in the last four of a World Cup since 1970 - after winning the tournament in 1930 and 1950.
In a first-half lacking in excitement, the
took the lead when
Giovanni van Bronckhorst
lashed in, only for
to level from long range.
From the first minute Forlan had a problem. I'm not dumb enough to take him out at 3-1 when the match wasn't lost
restored the Dutch side's lead despite
Robin van Persie
appearing to be offside, and an
header made it 3-1 three minutes later.
reduced the deficit to 3-2 to set up a tense finish, and their fighting qualities pleased their coach.
"If we had to choose a way to lose it would have been this way," added Tabarez.
"We accept the defeat, our rivals were better in front of goal.
"I knew the Dutch footballers were rich technically, who could score at any moment.
Forlan's swerving equaliser deceives Dutch keeper
"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."
At 3-1 down the Uruguay coach surprisingly substituted captain and top scorer Forlan.
"From the first minute he had a problem. I'm not dumb enough to take him out at 3-1 when the match wasn't lost," explained Tabarez.
"He was injured and could not continue."
Late Pereira strike sets up grand finale
Tabarez will need to pick his side up for Saturday's third-place play-off match in Port Elizabeth against the team which loses the second semi-final, between
"Saturday's match is important to us in that sense," stated Tabarez.
"When we look back, we can say we are among the four semi-finalists, the other three are powerhouses of Europe."