World Cup Final: Netherlands vs. Spain

No Brazil. No Germany. No Uruguay. No Argentina, Italy, or England. Definitely no France. Only these seven countries have ever won the World Cup, but an eighth name will added today, as the Netherlands and Spain meet in Johannesburg for the title. Spain had failed to get beyond the quarterfinals in 12 previous attempts, while the Oranje made the finals in 1974 and '78, falling to hosts West Germany and Argentina, respectively. (In the ’98 semis, they lost to Brazil on penalty kicks.) Spain, defending European champions, conjured a goal from a most unusual place—the shaggy head of defender Carles Puyol—in the 73rd minute to dispatch Germany 1-0 in the second semifinal, a day after another unlikely scorer, defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst, struck from long distance in a 3-2 victory over Uruguay that extended Holland's unbeaten streak to 25 matches. Spanish striker David Villa and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder are tied for the tournament scoring lead with five goals apiece. Where to watch the historic match? There are no Dutch bars in Seattle, but Taberna del Alabardero in Belltown has become the go-to spot over the past month for fans of La Furia Roja, with terrific Spanish cuisine, a weekend brunch menu, and a three-course lunch special for only $14.95. For other viewing locations, consult our list of worthwhile soccer bars. MICHAEL MAHONEY

June 11-July 11, 2010

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow