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Dutch bow out on sour note


marciadottin, [email protected]

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JOHANNESBURG – The Dutch were bent on showing that they could win ugly for their first World Cup title, but they got only the ugly part right.With eight yellow cards, one red and endless arguing that even spilled over beyond the final whistle, The Netherlands lost much more than 1-0 to Spain in the final – they lost a lot of their credibility as creative masters as well.The Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk changed the Total Football of flair and spontaneity of the 1970s into Result football, using cynical plotting for victory. The outcome was the same: The Netherlands are still waiting for their first World Cup.Van Marwijk took his silver medal off as soon as he walked off the podium, with a look of disgust on his face.“Our fouls may be a sad thing for a final, but it is not our style,” Van Marwijk said.Four years after Zinedine Zidane was sent off in the final, it was John Heitinga’s turn for collecting his second yellow card in the 109th minute. At that time, six Dutch players had already been booked and two more were to follow.In a team flush with talent, only Arjen Robben shone yesterday and almost gave the Dutch a breakthrough goal twice on darting runs through the centre. Each time, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas was perfect in blocking his attempts.“You felt that the team that would score first would win,” Van Marwijk said. “We had two great chances through Arjen. We made a real game out of it.”Two years ago, the coach picked victories over beauty, a sacrilege at a time when Dutch football prided itself on producing the most Brazilian football in all of Europe. But while Brazil have five titles to show for it, The Netherlands carry the disappointing tag of being the best team never to have won  the World Cup. (AP)

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