World Cup Soccer
 
              === Dutch, Spain both eye history-making victory ===
 
 Johannesburg,  South Africa  (Sports Network) - History will be made at Soccer
 City on Sunday in the final of the FIFA World Cup as either the Netherlands or
 Spain will claim its first-ever World Cup title.
 
 One  of  the two sides will  become the eighth nation  to win a World Cup, and
 while  the Dutch  have appeared in the  finals on two other occasions, in 1974
 and 1978, this is uncharted territory for Spain.
 
 "We  haven't  achieved  anything  like  this before  but  this  team  deserves
 everything that comes our way," said Spain striker David Villa. "It's not easy
 to  get this  far but  we're hungry  for more  and we  couldn't be  happier at
 reaching the final. That's what we came here for and now we want to go out and
 win it."
 
 This  will be the  second big final for Spain in two years as it beat Germany,
 1-0,  to win the  Euro 2008 title, and as midfielder Xabi Alonso said, "if you
 reach the final, you want to go on and win it."
 
 Spain  has gotten  to its  first  World Cup  final with  three successive  1-0
 victories in the knockout stage, beating Portugal, Paraguay and Germany by the
 same scoreline.
 
 The  Dutch, meanwhile,  have found the net seven times in their three knockout
 stage  wins, beating  Slovakia  and Brazil,  2-1, before  a  3-2 triumph  over
 Uruguay in the semifinals.
 
 "We're  in the final - unbelievable," overjoyed Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk
 said  following the semifinal win. "When I took this job two years ago, I said
 to  the  players,  'We're on  a  mission,  and  we  just have  to  believe  in
 ourselves.'  We're only a small country but we're through to the final, that's
 just unbelievable. We last made the final 32 years ago, so what we've achieved
 is, and I'll say it again, unbelievable."
 
 Wesley  Sneijder has  also been unbelievable as  he has led the team with five
 goals  this tournament,  while getting  some  strong support  from both  Arjen
 Robben and Dirk Kuyt on the wings.
 
 However,  if the  Dutch want  to complete  their mission,  they had  better be
 stronger in defense as they will face a high-powered Spanish attack.
 
 Despite  scoring only  seven goals  in  six games  so far,  Spain has  created
 countless  scoring  chances and  has controlled  most of its  games with a big
 edge in possession.
 
 Spain  manager Vicente  del Bosque will have  one big decision to make up top,
 and  that is  whether to start the struggling Fernando Torres alongside Villa,
 or  go with  Pedro, who played well  in his first start against Germany in the
 semifinals.
 
 The  Netherlands has  the kind of players  in Robben and Sneijder who could be
 effective  on the  counter attack, but if  Spain is firing on all cylinders on
 Sunday, it is hard to see it losing.
 
 The  Spanish have  given up just two goals all tournament, and midfielder Xavi
 believes that if they can duplicate their semifinal performance, that he likes
 their chances of bringing home the World Cup.
 
 "Holland  are a great team, they've got really strong players, especially from
 the  midfield  to the attack and  they're on a  great run of form," Xavi said.
 "But  we have to  play our football - if we play like we did in the semifinal,
 we have a great chance."
 
 07/10 19:52:47 ET

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