Friday June 13, 2014 (3 p.m. EST)
The game will be a rematch from the last World cup Final game. The Dutch played well and had several chances to score, but Spain eventually won from an Iniesta goal with 4 minutes left in extra time to secure their first World Cup victory. That game was very heated, with 14 total yellow cards coming out during the course of play.
See the highlights here with some overly dramatic music:
Spain – La Furia Roja
Coach – Vincente del Bosque. He has coached the national team since 2008. He is, to-date, the only football manager to have won the Champions League, the European Championship, and the World Cup.
Tournament history – 1 World Cup win in 2012
FIFA Ranking – #1
Having won the last 3 major international tournaments (2008 European Cup, 2010 World Cup, 2012 European Cup) Spain is on a record-breaking run. This team is not much different than the 2012 team that won the Euro cup. They are a bit older, but have a very real chance to win it again.
Netherlands – Oranje
Coach – Loius van Gaal. He has coached the national team since 2012. Van Gaal is looking to prove himself for the national team one last time before heading off to Manchester United next season.
Tournament history – 3 World Cup final appearances in 2010, 1978, 1974.
FIFA Ranking – #15
Playing very well coming into the tournament, but have had issues on the big stage. In the 2012 Euros, they failed to win a match and had several internal issues that tore them apart. Things seem to be better now and the team has a nice mix of old and new players. When they are playing well, they can beat any team.
The Netherlands will come out swinging early with their fast-paced style of play. Since it is the first game of the tournament and a draw means points, both teams will be looking not to lose, so the chances will be muted a bit. However, the Netherlands have been playing well through qualifying and should be able to take the edge from an older Spanish side that will most likely play conservatively.