So ends the streak. With Uruguay’s defeat to the Netherlands, the last of the South American teams drop out… leaving the Dutch, Germany and Spain. That means — for the first time ever — a European team will win the World Cup outside of Europe.
No mean feat, considering how well the South American teams played in the group stages, while the European teams failed to impress. But the numbers don’t lie and the last three teams have all kept their opponent’s goal count down. In fact, this was the first time the Dutch have allowed more than one goal in a game all tournament.
So the Dutch are back in the final after a 32-year absence. They’ll either face early favourites Spain, or newly-resurgent Germany. You have to think the Oranje will want to face their Germanic cousins in a repeat of the 1974 final.
As for the Germany-Spain match, can the stingy Spaniards hang onto the ball to counter the counter-attacking Mannschafft? Paul the Psychic Octopus says Siiiii….
The British press will likely never forgive England for their ignominious departure from South Africa. So the stories will continue to pour forth about what they did wrong. The latest: Capello wouldn’t let the players see their WAGs. Talk about getting too little, too late.