The Netherlands edged the United States 2-1 and Brazil be
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ The Netherlands edged the United States 2-1 and Brazil beat Belgium in a penalty shootout Saturday to reach the final of the inaugural indoor soccer World Championship.
Brazil and Belgium were tied 1-1 after regulation play and 3-3 at the end of extra time before Brazil won the shootout 4-3.
The Netherlands, backed by an enthusiastic crowd of 2,500, got both goals from captain Vic Hermans. Jim Gabarra scored the lone American goal.
The Dutch were tentative at first, unable to cope with the U.S early checking. But when the United States failed to get any momentum of its own going, the home side pushed ahead. ″We had to perform and we did it,″ said coach Ron Groenewoud, who had been harshly criticized in the Dutch press throughout the tournament.
His team scored two minutes from halftime when Hermans hit a strong drive from the left wing after U.S. defenders left him with room to spare to line up his shot. A.J. Lachowecki, who had saved his side earlier with split-second reaction saves, had no chance.
The United States pressured early in the second half but was unlucky in the 28th minute when Mike Windischmann’s hit the inside post with a left-foot shot after a rush through the middle. ″The match could have gone either way,″ said U.S. coach John Kowalski.
The game slipped away when Hermans was again unmarked in the middle and tapped in a cross from Marcel Loosveld.
Gabarra was able to narrow the gap in the 33rd minute with a low shot but could not get the equalizer.