Netherlands Can Win The World Cup 2010?

The last-eight clash in Port Elizabeth brings together two nations famed for a free-flowing, attacking style of play.Will this finally be 'the year'? They're not quite a favorite - that's somewhere between Brazil and Spain.

The Oranje made a decent, if unconvincing, start to the campaign, as they just managed to hold onto their lead as they visited Macedonia. They were having trouble finding the breakthrough as a sturdy Macedonia defence stood strong. However Holland broke the deadlock just after the interval with John Heitinga's headed effort.

And while the names will dominate, Eljero Elia is a budding European star whose 'electricity' is positively Robben-esque. Ibrahim Afellay, Ryan Babel also: young, gifted, technical.

The Netherlands team enjoyed a 2:0 win against Denmark in their first group stage match of the competition which took place last week at the renowned Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. Danish player Daniel Agger scored an own goal at the 46th minute while lucky number seven, Dirk Kuyt managed to score right at the end of the match. The Dutch gained an early lead in the match which they were able to keep hold of throughout the game with help from
midfielder Wesley Sneijder and forward Robin Van Persie.

Netherlands are by many considered to be an outsider for the 2010 World Cup.Joris Mathijsen during Holland's training camp in Austria and the Hamburg man was full of confidence ahead of this summer's tournament.

"We're convinced that we can be successful in South Africa. If Greece can win the European Championships, than Netherlands can certainly win the World Cup," Mathijsen was quoted.

"There are about seven or eight teams that have set their sights on winning the tournament and Netherlands are one of those teams. It's all about one thing this summer and that's winning the World Cup. Several teams will leave the tournament disappointed."

The former AZ star also took the time to discuss Oranje's performances in the recent past and pointed out that the
Dutch have learnt from their mistakes.

"We have learnt a lot from the past two big tournaments and that will be very helpful this summer. We can't be satisfied after some good games in the group phase. We will not get carried away this time around.

"It's crucial to be mentally strong at a tournament like this. We were eliminated in the previous two tournaments due to details. However, we were sent home in the early stages of the tournament on two occasions after impressing during the group phase."

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