Wesley Sneijder had woken up in a good mood, tweeting early Wednesday morning, "Good morning everyone. Big day today!!!! I'm ready, can't wait....."
That ebullience would soon turn to misanthropy, however, as Sneijder's Dutch side quickly found themselves down 2-0 to a German side who were vastly superior for almost the entire match, aside from a brief spell before and after Robin van Persie's strike for the Oranje.
The match ended 2-1, and while the Netherlands are not mathematically eliminated—Portugal's rollicking 3-2 victory over Denmark earlier in the day kept Dutch hopes for qualification into the knockout stages alive—those hopes are looking rather dim indeed.
After such a poor showing against the Danes on Saturday, when Holland's defense had been exposed and their offensive front four shown to be nearly bereft in terms of attacking ideas, a superior performance was needed against the Germans, who had been at their pragmatic and incisive best in a 1-0 win of their own over the Portuguese on Saturday.
Bert van Marwijk's side didn't get that performance, however, and cast a further pall on their pre-tournament tags as favorites to emerge as champions.
This may be the dreariest display by a would-be contender at a major competition since France in World Cup 2002.
The players who took the field for the Netherlands Wednesday are a major reason for this disappointment. Here are their player ratings.