Thursday, July 8, 2010

Netherlands vs Spain....Who will it be ??

                        NED                 VS                  ESP
         This could be the best finals in FIFA WORLD CUP history,a finals that people hoped for,a finals between two teams that never won the World Cup before.
Carles Puyol of Spain (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain
       Spain reached their first FIFA World Cup finals in 3 decades after a Carlos Puyol header earned them a worth full 1:0 win over favorites Germany. Spain also beat the likes of Portugal and Paraguay on the way.Let's take a look at Spain's journey to the finals.At the first match which was against Switzerland,a team that failed to beat the Spaniards in nearly 48 years,but history was rewritten,Switzerland pulled off the biggest shock so far at this FIFA World Cup™ as Gelson Fernandes's strike against the run of play earned them a 1-0 win against European champions and joint-tournament favourites Spain. Vicente del Bosque's team predictably dominated possession but were hit on the break seven minutes into the second half as the Swiss recorded a first win over Spain.The second match against Honduras was a must win match for them,and they did just that to get their  FIFA World Cup™ campaign back on track with a win against Honduras that was far more comprehensive than the 2-0 scoreline indicated. The Central Americans were the unlucky victims as the European champions returned to the kind of form which placed them among the pre-tournament favorites.The third match against Chile was also a must win match for them,cause the loser of this match will face Brazil.Spain beat ten-man Chile 2-1 to finish top of Group H and book a Round of 16 meeting with Portugal, while their opponents' courageous display was rewarded with a date with Brazil.And then it was a last 16 match-up against Portugal,who are just fresh from a 7:0 rout of North Korea and holding 5 time Champions Brazil to a goalless draw. Well,that didn't stop Spain from beating Portugal 1:0 and reach the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. In the Quarter Finals they faced harder opponents Paraguay,who managed to edge out Asian giants Japan in a penalty shootout.  Spain set up a potentially thrilling semi-final meeting with Germany but the European champions had to do it the hard way, requiring a lone second-half strike from David Villa to claim a 1-0 win over a resilient Paraguay at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park. And finally Paul the Octopus predicted a Spanish win against it's native nation Germany.Well,that creature was worth the money,cause a 73rd minute Carlos Puyol header ended Germany's hopes and created history for the Amigos.
           Eljero Elia of the Netherlands (C) celebrates with team mates
Next is about the journey of the Netherlands who reached their third FIFA World Cup finals.Nobody expected the Dutch to be so impressive but they really put critics at bay with their world-class performances.First-up its against Denmark.No comments..on this.. the Dutch came out comfortable winners against the Danes as a Daniel Agger own goal and Dirk Kuyt’s late winner earned the Netherlands a deserved 2-0 win over Denmark at Johannesburg’s Soccer City as the Dutch took an early lead in Group E and stretched their long unbeaten run.The second match was a bit tricky cause they face Japan who are fresh from a 1:0 victory over Cameroon.Well the only goal of the game coming from Wesley Sneijder shortly after the break. Despite not having things their own way at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Dutch – still without injured winger Arjen Robben – will nevertheless be thrilled with their six points from two games and a spot at the top of Group E.The third game was a game that could seal Cameroon's early departure but for the Dutch its a game that they need to win to stretch their unbeaten run as their already in the last-16.Well, Arjen Robben came off the bench to help the Netherlands secure a 2-1 victory over Cameroon that seals top spot in Group E and sets up a last-16 date with Slovakia. Robin van Persie and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were on target either side of a Samuel Eto'o penalty at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium as Bert van Marwijk’s Oranje preserved their unblemished record at South Africa 2010.And its was  the start of the last-16 against Slovakia for the Netherlands.Slovakia is fresh from a 3:2 victory over defending 4 time Champions Italy that handed them an early exit.They are also determine to send the Dutch packing but the Dutch were just too strong.Slovakia's fairy-tale run came to an end at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium on Monday, with Arjen Robben returning to the starting line-up and helping fire the organised Oranje into the quarter-finals with the first goal in a 2-1 win.And then it was like nightmare for the Netherlands as they faced 5 time Champions Brazil in the Quarter finals.The Oranje were already looking at the exit door when Robinho fired the South Americans ahead in the first half,but the Dutch had a surprise for the samba kings in the second half.Well the Dutch came from behind to break Brazilian hearts and take a huge step towards a third FIFA World Cup™ final appearance. Trailing at half-time to Robinho's early goal in Port Elizabeth, Bert van Marwijk's men drew level with Brazil's Felipe Melo's own goal before Wesley Sneijder scored his second of the game with 22 minutes remaining.And then it was another South American giant,this time it was Uruguay,with the deadly Diego Forlan,but they also can't do a thing against the cruising Dutch.The Netherlands will face Spain in the Final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ after beating Uruguay 3:2.
     Now the Finals,Netherlands vs Spain.Even if your favorite team is not here as expected by you,you must not miss this Finals cause a new team will be named Champions for the first time in FIFA World Cup history.Spain reached their first finals in 3 decades while the Netherlands were two time's runner-ups. The stakes are high for this fixture.Pundits have said that the team that scores first have the likely hood of winning the World Cup.Netherlands have score most of their goals in the first half while Spain is famous for their last minute knockout blows that can be sealed with a goal in the dying seconds.Head to heads put Netherlands with 4 wins against Spain,while the amigos only won 3 times against the Dutch.One draw was played.No doubt that the Dutch faced harder opponents during their campaign like Japan,Cameroon,Brazil,Uruguay while Spain only faced Chile,Portugal,Paraguay and Germany that almost turn the table around.Tactics wise of course  its Spain, their tempo of passing is direct but not as fast as the Dutch.Spain has a strong mid-field and a world-class goal keeper.The Netherlands are good down the flanks with Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben,they also have a forward named Van Persie who can be deadly when he gets the ball.Spain has Torres and David Villa and some attacking midfielders like Xavi and Xabi Alonso.The engine of Spain's midfield is of course Inesta.
      So the conclusion is simple both teams are good and worth to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup.But Spain has the slight edge over the Dutch.So my prediction is a 2:1 win for the Spainish. Adios Amigos!!!!! Watch the final!!! Don't forget!!!!

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