The mad, the bad and the noisy

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The whole country went temporarily berserk last night following Holland's 3-2 victory over Uruguay in the semi-final of the World Cup. Thousands of Orange fans took to the streets to celebrate and the sound of vuvuzelas joined the traditional symphony of car horns and drunken shouting to produce a truly impressive racket.

In several Dutch cities, crowds were already gathered in public places to watch the match on giant video screens. The main venue in Amsterdam was Museum square, where there were at least 40,000 people in front of what was described as "the biggest video screen in Europe".

In Rotterdam, the tradition of jumping into the fountain in Hofplein square was continued by a large number of people. In Utrecht, excited fans jumped into the canals and climbed lampposts.

In The Hague, however, police had to intervene in the Laak district when supporters set skips on fire and started throwing objects, including fireworks, at police and police horses. The riot police were called in and 18 people were arrested. There was little or no trouble in the rest of the city.

According to the viewer research foundation SKO, around 9.5 million Dutch people watched the match at home. It's estimated that an additional million and a half will have watched in bars or other public places. The total population of the Netherlands is 16.6 million.

On Sunday the Dutch team will be up against either Germany or Spain in the tournament final.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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