Philippine Daily Inquirer

World Cup final on

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JOHANNESBU­RG—Spain’s artists meet the artisans of the Netherland­s on Sunday in a World Cup final that will end with one team taking the title for the first time.

European champion Spain has steadily improved with each game in South Africa until the point where it controlled this week’s semifinal againstGer­many with a measured performanc­e that denied a previously impressive team any space or opportunit­y to counteratt­ack.

The Dutch gladly embrace the win-at-all-costs mentality that was anathema to the “Total Football” generation that reached the 1974 and ’78 finals. But those sides, which included the likes of Johan Cruyff, Johnny Rep and Johan Neeskens, only attained the status of the best team never to win theWorld Cup.

“I’d rather play an extremely ugly game and win, instead of a beautiful one and lose,” Netherland­s winger Arjen Robben said.

Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder shares the tournament scoring lead with Spain’s David Villa on five goals and both are expected to play key roles in the final.

 ?? AP ?? ROBBEN
AP ROBBEN

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