The Dutch national team had to make do with the silver medal on Sunday evening in Johannesburg. They lost the final match 1-0 to Spain during overtime. Ajax players Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel were on the squad.
The Dutch team were out in full force against European champion Spain. With jersey numbers one, Stekelenburg, through eleven, Robben, they were ready at kick off. Van der Wiel, who was suspended during the semi-final against Uruguay, returned to left back, and Demy de Zeeuw watched the match from the sidelines.
Both Ajax players had an outstanding match against Spain, but the Dutch team couldn’t make it happen. They had their biggest chance during the second half, when former Ajax player Wesley Sneijder created a free passage for Arjen Robben through to the Spanish goal. Iker Casillas made the stop with his foot. His fellow keeper on the other side, Maarten Stekelenburg, was just as extraordinary, making several saves on good attempts from Spain.
The Netherlands fought tooth and nail to keep up with Spain, and they were successful during regular time – at the expense of several yellow cards. The score remained 0-0. The Dutch also stood strong during the first half of overtime, but in the 116th minute – with Heitinga out after two yellow cards – the curtain fell. Andres Iniesta scored with a low, diagonal shot, and ended the Dutch dream.
Netherlands – Spain 0-1 after overtime
116. Iniesta 0-1
Netherlands:Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst (105.Braafheid); De Jong (99.Van der Vaart), Sneijder Van Bommel; Robben, Van Persie, Kuyt (71. Elia)
Spain: Casillas; Pique, Puyol, Ramos; Busquets, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso (87. Fabregas), Villa (106. Torres), Xavi, Pedro (60. Navas), Capdevilla