The Netherlands crushed defending world champion Spain 5-1, and the game wasn't as close as the score indicates. By all rights, the score should have been more like 7-0. After all, Spain's only goal was on a questionable penalty kick. A few observations are in order...
After the first 20 minutes or so, Spain played with no heart, looking flat and slow. Their defenders were frankly awful, and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, a former prodigy, who is no longer a starter for his club Real Madrid, had a bad day. He is also likely past his prime.
As to the Dutch, coach Louis van Gaal's strategy of holding five men back in defense worked brilliantly. Also credit sensational performances from speedster and ball handling wizard Arjen Robben, striker par excellence Robin van Persie, world class midfielder Wesley Sneijder, and young Daley Blind with his essential passes to the forwards.
Will the Dutch win this tournament? Well, they've looked good many times before, including 2010, when they lost to Spain in the final. Is Spain done? Well, they lost their first game in 2010, only to win the whole thing. But their loss in 2010 was 1-0, not 5-1.
We shall see.