The Netherlands has never won a World Cup final, but they do have one of the most storied histories in the tournament. They have played in three World Cup finals in 1974, 1978 and 2010, and hold the recorded for playing in the most finals without ever actually winning. If one team deserves a win more than any other that would be Holland. However, 2014 will not be the year that the Netherlands soccer jersey gets its' 1st World Cup star.
The Holland 2014 World Cup home shirt has had more outings than many of the other 32 World Cup teams kits but it won't be making an appearance in the final. Nike manufactures the football shirt in the famous orange color scheme that is used for the Netherlands home football kits. You can still celebrate the valiant efforts, and fantastic display of football by the Holland squad by ordering your shirt at Soccer Box, we still have limited stocks so order now!
The Road to the Semifinal!
Last night, the Netherlands national football team took on Argentina in the semi-final but how did they get to the last 4? An interesting group stage draw pitted the Dutch football team against Spain their 2010 World Cup final opponents. The 1st game was a repeat of that final, and the Holland team took no prisoners. The Netherlands proved they were in for the long game by beating the current World Cup holders Spain 5-1.
The flair, determination and skill of that 1st match-up were not as evident in the other group stage outings of the Netherlands soccer jersey. The squad won both games beating Australia 3-2, and Chile 2-0, doing enough to secure progression to the knockout stage, but without the vigor of the 1st match.
It is fair to say that the Netherlands team only scraped through their Last-16 game against a strong Mexican side. At 87 minutes they were trailing 1-0 and facing a disappointed trip home. Wesley Sneijder hit the net in the 88th minute to give the team a slither of hope. With the prospect of extra-time and potential penalties looming a penalty in the 94th minute dramatically changed the end result. After Robben was fouled, Huntelaar wearing the number 19 Holland 2014 World Cup home shirt hit the net to secure quarterfinal football for his team.
The quarterfinal play was not any better. A surprisingly strong, and well-coordinated Costa Rica football team held Holland to a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes. Holland did have the best of the chances and possession but were unable to hit the net, even after another 30 minutes of added time. The game was eventually decided by a penalty shoot-out.
In a surprise move Louis van Gaal substituted 1st choice goalkeeper Cillessen for 2nd choice Krul in the 121st minute. Saving 2 of the 5 Costa Rica penalties van Gaal's decisive action and Krul's skill saved the match and ensured that the Netherlands soccer jersey would make a semi-final appearance.
Penalties Round 2
The second semifinal of the 2014 World Cup was between Holland and Argentina. They went into their semifinal tie following an explosive, action packed entertaining game between Brazil and Germany the previous evening, that ended 7-1 knocking the host nation out of the tournament.
The game was not so much entertaining as laborious, slow, and ultimately goalless. Holland had done their homework and recognized the threat of Lionel Messi, and defensively they played well. An interesting statistic is that throughout the full game 90 minutes, plus 30 minutes of added time Messi did not touch the ball in the opposition's penalty area.
However, there is perhaps more to say on the lack of attacking ability of the Dutch side. In the 1st half star striker Arjen Robben had only 4 touches of the ball, making 1 attempt at a pass. They only made 4 attempts on goal throughout the 120 minutes, the only attempt on target was a 99th minute shot by number 11 Arjen Robben.
After a goalless 120 minutes stalemate remained. The Netherlands 2014 World Cup home shirt would partake in a 2nd penalty shoot-out in as many matches. Louis van Gaal stuck with is number 1 goalkeeper this time around, perhaps a mistake in hindsight. Sergio Romero saved 2 of the Dutch penalties giving the Argentina national football team the green light to proceed to the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.
Argentina will face Germany on Sunday. The Netherlands face Brazil in the 3rd place playoff match on Saturday. Overall, after their 1st strong tirade against Spain Holland has been overwhelmingly flat and disappointing. 2014 is not the year that the Netherlands will finally lift the World Cup trophy but they will be back in 2018 for the next round in Russia.
Prior to 2018 the Netherlands soccer jersey will be out in force for the Euro 2016 qualifiers that start later this year. It's not too late to order your football shirt and get ready for more team action.