By Truus Bos, NBC News Producer
LONDON – While most English fans have slunk away after England's humiliation at the hands of Germany, and American fans have probably gone on safari to drown their sorrows after Ghana defeated Team USA, Dutch fans are still cheering and are left as one of the most visible and vocal support groups in South Africa.
Dutch soccer fans celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and Slovakia in Durban, South Africa, on June 28.
The Netherlands beat Slovakia to reach the quarterfinals after four straight wins. So now they will face Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Friday.
The last time Holland beat Brazil in the World Cup was in 1974. Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament.
The Holland coach has acknowledged his team is the underdog. But if they don't win, it won't be from lack of support from the fans.
Tens of thousands of Dutch fans made the trip to South Africa. Some drove all the way from Amsterdam to South Africa, approximately a 12,000 mile trip, in a convoy of 22 orange-painted cars, buses, trucks and caravans through Europe and the length of Africa.
Dutch airlines scheduled extra flights after the team reached the quarterfinals. Many fans have been camping on special camp sites, traveling from stadium to stadium in a large convoy. It's hard to miss the orange cars full of fans dressed in orange wigs, shirts, hats, boas and outrageous costumes.
"There's a fantastic atmosphere here at the campsite. It's all Dutch people and we march together to the stadiums," a 25-year-old airline employee who was camping with three friends told a Reuters reporter. "Nobody cares about how you look, it's all very relaxed."
But earlier in the tournament, the orange outfits got some fans into trouble with FIFA when a group of 36 Dutch and South African girls showed up at the Netherlands-Denmark game wearing orange body-clinging dresses. FIFA officials suspected an ambush marketing ploy and had the girls rapidly removed from the stadium and kept in a room where, according to one of the girls, FIFA officials threatened them with six months imprisonment.
The photos, video and interviews with the women quickly hit the headlines all over the world. Two of the women, who allegedly led the group, were arrested and had to appear at a Johannesburg magistrates' court. Their crime? Violating the "Contravention of Merchandise Marks Act," which prevents companies from advertising without paying for the right to do so.
The real culprit turned out to be a Dutch a beer brewer called Bavaria. When I was visiting Holland in weeks leading to the World Cup you could buy a six pack of Bavaria beer and get a free orange dress.
My niece, a tall, blond 19-year-old, had gotten one and loved it. It had a tiny blue tag in the side seam with the Bavaria logo. Little did my niece realize that by wearing the dress she would become a walking advertisement for the beer company.
One of the arrested women, Barbara Casteleyns, admitted in a phone call to a local Dutch TV News program, "we came up with the idea with the help from Bavaria." She also said that "Bavaria provided our tickets."
Whatever the controversy over the beer company's guerrilla marketing campaign, it won't ruin the enjoyment of the Dutch fans in South Africa, who are having the time of their lives and confident that their team has a good chance to defeat Brazil.
But if their team is defeated, they'll take their orange campers and caravans on the South African roads and enjoy the stunning scenery. "We are getting to see so much of the country," a 25-year-old student dressed in a Dutch milk-maid's outfit told one reporter. "It's really wonderful!"
After all, South Africa is a the country which their forefathers settled in the 17th century as a trading post on the long sea journey to Indonesia and the Far East, and where Afrikaners speak a language they can almost understand.