By Ryan Fleming
When I originally made my pick before the World Cup started, I chose the Netherlands to topple the best teams in the world. I thought the Oranje would overcome the deadly attack of Argentina, to get past the young and enthusiastic Germans and even deal with the fiery Spanish, if it ever came to it.
If I knew then that they would come up against Brazil in the quarter final, I would have picked the Brazilians to repeat history and continue to haunt the Dutch, kicking them out of the month-long tournament for the third time in a little over 10 years.
Yesterday, though, was different. The Dutch turned it around, got literally stomped on, had luck go their way, and turned away the No. 1 team in the world.
In ‘94, back when the World Cup was in the United States, the Oranje lost to Brazil in the quarter finals and four years later were ousted by the same country in the tournament, but in PKs.
Now, after what is the second most entertaining game of the tourney (second to Ghana and Uruguay’s heart attack fest), the Flying Dutchmen advance to the semi final and take on a weakened Uruguay team that played nearly a half a game more than the Oranje did.
The Dutch, the exhilarated Ruud Gullit and the millions of speechless supporters the team represents, now have a dangerous weapon – confidence. They have the “this could finally be our year” mentality to them now.
The Netherlands got by their beast, their Achilles heel, the Brazilians, and right now, the entire world is starting to turn Oranje.
Ryan Fleming is a writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.