JOHANNESBURG — Spain and the Netherlands have all the talent necessary to provide one of the most thrilling World Cup finals in the tournament's 80-year history.
That doesn't necessarily mean it will be one of the highest scoring.
Spain's organization and control won it the European Championship two years ago and could make it only the third side to add the World Cup to that title.
The players are so confident in their ability to deny opponents possession and chances they do not need to create chance after chance. That leads to some glorious passing performances but means what is arguably world football's most attractive team has scored just seven goals to reach the final.
The Netherlands has scored five more but places equal importance on the sort of possession play that suffocates opponents and requires patient scheming rather than pace and excitement.
"Goal scoring is less important," Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said. "We have good organization and a few creative players that can make the difference.
"But Spain has that, too."
That could make for an evenly matched game decided by a moment of individual brilliance by the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder or Spain's David Villa, who share the lead in the tournament scoring charts with five goals each.
"I think we have all the ingredients possible for a great final," Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez said. "It's true that whichever team has better ball possession will have halfway won.
"We'll intend to impose our style of play from the opening minute. But the Netherlands will, too."