Netherlands lose World Cup final to Spain 0-1
Spain emerged victorious from a nailbiting World Cup final in Johannesburg on Sunday evening, beating Holland 0-1 after an extra time goal by playmaker Andres Iniesta. They now become only the third team, after Germany and France, to hold both the European Cup and the World Cup simultaneously
Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk congratulated Spain on their victory, saying the best team had won. He also expressed regret at having missed a third opportunity for the Dutch to win the title. The Dutch were hoping to make it third time lucky, having been losing finalists in 1974 and 1978. The orange team were perhaps closest to clinching the trophee during regular playing time. Striker Arjen Robben was one-on-one with the goalkeeper twice, but on both occasions Iker Casillas made superb saves.
Englishman Howard Webb had a busy night. He issued no fewer than 13 yellow cards, nine of which went to the Dutch, including one resulting in a red card for defender John Heitinga.
The Dutch team will return to the Netherlands on Monday. An F-16 fighter plane will escort them from the moment they enter Dutch airspace. On Tuesday, they will receive a public welcome in Amsterdam. Hundreds of thousands of fans will flock to the capital's museum square to congratulate the players on another great achievement for Dutch football.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide