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The suspense is killing me!

According to the octopus, Oranje will lose tonight. But Mani the predicting parakeet of Singapore says they'll win the championship. I just wish it were over already.

Twice previously have Oranje made the finals. Both times, they lost. I was 11 when this happened in 1974, and although I didn't care about football then (other than having an occasional friendly kickabout with the neighbour's sons), I do remember the general despondency that descended on the nation after the match. But also the optimism that next time, our lads would surely prove unbeatable. And then they lost again, in and to Argentina, in 1978. The general feeling then was that we was robbed, and it had all been a conspiracy between FIFA and the generals. No wonder we felt elated when those same generals got their comeuppance in their confrontation with Mrs. Thatcher a few years later.

32 Years it took Oranje to find their way back into the finals. Strange that it should have happened for the team that plays a different type of football to the one that made Oranje's reputation. In fact, our opponent Spain appears to have been playing that kind of combination football more than Oranje during the whole of this tournament; but then, their selection includes 6 or 7 blaugranos, and Barça were led by Cruijff and Rijkaard, and have employed a total of 35 Dutch players since the 70s. Something's bound to have rubbed off.

Spain have been playing the most attractive football over the course of this tournament. The Netherlands have been playing the most effective -- they've remained unbeaten in 25 successive matches. Can they make it 26? They can, if they keep their wits about them: come out and attack from the very first minute, play for possession, keep pressing, and don't give away too many chances. That includes taking care not to get booked too often: it's a telling fact that Oranje have accumulated 15 yellow cards during their stay in South Africa, while Spain has only been given 3.

In conclusion, I do hope that Oranje will bring home the trophy. But Spain perhaps deserve it more, because they've been playing a better, more attractive and entertaining football, and on grounds of general sportsmanship.

Comments

( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
curiouswombat
Jul. 11th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
We'll be cheering you on, here in our house! And surely a predicting parakeet outranks a psychic octopus?
gamiila
Jul. 11th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
All hail the octopus, he got it right again!

At the risk of sounding like a traitor though, Spain won it fair and square; and I'm happy for them. While at the same time, I feel for our eleven; they really gave it their all.

And thank you for your cheers.
curiouswombat
Jul. 11th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I think, in the end, the Spanish did play better; I couldn't begrudge them the win.
gamiila
Jul. 11th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Nor can I. They were in possession more, and kept their cool despite Oranje's constant pressing and playing dirty.
suze2000
Jul. 11th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Just saw the end of the match - commiserations. I hate extra time, but I hate penalty shootouts more, so I'm glad they at least avoided getting the result that way. *hug*
gamiila
Jul. 11th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
I hate extra time, but I hate penalty shootouts more

Me, too. It's feels like a cheater's trick, to win on penalties. Having said that, had it gone to a penalty shootout, the outcome would most likely hav been the same -- our team have a pretty spotty record on that score.

And Spain -- they deserved it more, I think.
( 6 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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