Netherlands will play Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, the world’s greatest sporting event, which will be held at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday 11 July 2010. A European team is thus guaranteed to be world champions for the first time at a World Cup held outside Europe.
There are two other firsts as well in this final. Neither team has previously won the World Cup, so there will be a new name on the trophy. And, perhaps more remarkably, these two teams have never played each other either in the World Cup or European Championship.
Netherlands So Far in the FIFA World Cup
The Netherlands dumped the last South American team – Uruguay – out of the competition in the semi-finals and thus ensured a European victory. The result was popular throughout Africa after Uruguay became the most hated team on the continent for the way they knocked out Ghana in the previous round.
Netherlands did not though have this game all their own way. A wonder strike from Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave them an early lead but this was cancelled out just before half time by a long-range effort from Diego Forlan. But Uruguay looked like they were finally put to bed when the Dutch scored two goals in three minutes, the first a controversial goal by Wesley Sneijder due to suspicions of offside and the second a cracking header by Arjen Robben. Maximiliano Pereira pulled one back for Uruguay in injury time to set up a nervous few minutes for the Dutch, but they held out to win 3-2.
The Netherlands came from a goal behind to the mighty Brazil in the quarter finals to win 2-1. The Dutch had an easier Round of 16 match when they beat Slovakia 2-1 and were the first team to qualify from the group stage when they won their first two matches. Adding a third win gave them a 100 per cent record.
Spain So Far in the FIFA World Cup.
At one point during the first half of Spain’s quarter final against Germany, the growing grass was seriously vying for attention with the football for which was the more interesting. Thankfully, the game picked up in the second half culminating in a bullet of a header from Carles Puyol on seventy-three minutes to give the Spaniards their third 1-0 victory in a row in the knock-out stages of the World cup.