Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain Wins World Soccer Cup over Netherlands

By Tom Kando

Ouch! Holland lost the world championship to Spain. I have nothing against Spain. Lovely country, lovely people. My sister and her children live there. But hey, I was rooting for “my” Holland, naturally.

It was tough to watch: Holland lost in overtime, during “power play,” to borrow a term from ice hockey: They only had 10 men, against Spain’s 11. Is this fair?

Actually, I had predicted the final score correctly (see my recent post about the Tour de France) : 1 to 0 - just the wrong way around. Go figure.

As always, there were many questionable penalties called, and some missed calls too. But I am not going to be a sore loser. The bad calls and the missed calls went both ways. Except the last one, which reduced the Dutch team to 10 men.

It was a defensive game, played cautiously and a bit roughly, especially by the Dutch. The Spaniards were probably slightly better. They took more shots, had more ball possession, and passed better. So I guess they deserve the win.

The Dutch soccer team reminds me of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1970s, with quarterback Fran Tarkenton at the helm: They went to the Super bowl 4 times, and never won. Similarly, this is the 3rd time the Dutch go to the world final, and come out 2nd best.

Oh well, I congratulate the Dutch team anyway. Thanks for the joy you brought to millions. You are a great team, great athletes, among the world’s very best.

Someone said that soccer is a game for 4-year olds, which the rest of the world takes seriously. I must be a 4-year old. leave comment here