80 Years’ War, 90 Minutes: Our WC Final Predictions

After 80 years of competition, both on the battlefield and pitch, Spain and the Netherlands will have 90 minutes to claim their first World Cup title and cement their country’s spot in the world football history books. We weigh in on will hoist the trophy as the eighth ever World Champion.

Rob – Netherlands 2 – 1 Spain

Who’d have known it? Spain and Holland. While I’ve been pulling for the Oranje and relentlessly bantering on and on for the past few months about the outcome of their performance and how well they’d do – I’ll be honest: I knew the odds were against the Dutch genius.

This tournament has been one of upsets, enjoyment and some disappointment – like any. However, the one thing that can be taken for sure is the relative devolution of the Dutch, among others’, game. I’m not discounting the team I support for reaching the final,  but, as I said in my post-game analysis of their semi-final game, things haven’t been the prettiest. Things haven’t been total.

Spain, on the other hand, have had the most up-and-down sequence of performances over the past month. And, needless to say, tomorrow could go either way. Their start against Switzerland could be taken as one of the most off-hand ‘gimme’ games in the history of the World Cup. All, clearly thrown away. However, each performance saw them improve and come closer and closer to perfection in possession and attack – defense and counter. To be honest, a game of Total Football.

So, with this game tomorrow being so historic and providing the World with a NEW winner – one that has never before had the honor of lifting the trophy – things are up in the air.

Julian –  Spain 2 – 1 Netherlands

At the beginning of the tournament, I not-so boldly picked Spain to win it.  After they lost to Switzerland, I still said La Furia Roja would win it. After we knew who made it to the Round of 16, I said Spain would beat Netherlands in the finals. Why change my mind now?

I don’t know either.

Neither team has produced a caliber of football even close to what they’re capable of (except maybe Spain’s possession-based dominance over Germany), but the Spanish will finally get it right with their best performance of the Cup.

Even producing lackluster performances, they’ve still managed to make it to the semifinals, and while I think the Dutch wholly deserve to be playing in the final, there have been some lucky moments to get them there.

Spain’s offensive flourish always steals the attention, but their backline has been immense. How many goals have they conceded this tournament again? That’s right. Two.

Sneijder’s run of lucky goals will finally run out against the Spanish.  I want to emphasive my confidence with a 2-0 scoreline, but after four straight wins by a lone-goal margin, I’ll stick with a 2-1 scoreline. And who finds the net for the Spanish  in that crucial, final time? Fernando Torres.

Jon – Spain 3 – 1 Netherlands

It’s fitting that tomorrow when the Dutch are singing their national anthem, “Het Wilhelmus,” much of their anthem will speak of their opponent. The fact that many World Cup games have their own slice of history between them, makes these already important contests more special. The 10th stanza speaks explicitly of Spanish atrocities, most notably the line, “Oh that the Spaniards rape thee.”  Ouch, love lost?Though my heart will be Oranje tomorrow, by heads tells me otherwise. Through much deliberation, I picked Spain over Brazil from the get go. Even after some less than convincing performances, I’ll stand by them. The Dutch have not been that convincing themselves, and to be fair, probably would not be here if not for a colossal Brazilian meltdown once the Netherlands equalized in that quarterfinals contest (see Felipe Melo).

I’ve been waiting for the Heitenga-Mathjson partnership for the Netherlands to go up in flames, and I think it happens tomorrow. In front of them, Mark Van Bommel had better keep his cool. He’s gotten away with more than a few questionable challenges to this point, and English referee Howard Webb will not stand for it.

On the other side, Spanish left back Joan Capdevilla is probably Spain’s weakest link. He’ll have his hands full with Arjen Robben, and this matchup could be the most important to watch on the pitch. In attack, it will be interesting to see if Liverpool’s No. 9 gets the start. Fernando Torres should start, if for no other season, Pedro didn’t exactly cement his place when he got the chance against Germany.

History will be made tomorrow. One of these two countries will win their first World Cup. A European country will win the World Cup for the first time outside of European soil.
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