Several quarters dismissed the Netherlands’ chances of making it out of the group stage, but they now stand just one game away from a second successive World Cup showpiece.
Stationed between them and another shot at global domination is Argentina, a nation never to have suffered a semi-final defeat in the history of this tournament.
This stat alone is likely what renders de Oranje outsiders to hoist the most sought-after piece of silverware the beautiful game has to offer.
But the frequently disregarded Dutch and their 16/5 to reign supreme must be the best bet of the remaining outright options.
Their unforeseen Spanish demolition suggests the underdog jacket suits the Netherlands best.
Just a handful of optimists fancied the Dutch to get the better of the world champions in their opening match and their flickering patronage was firmly extinguished when they went 1-0 down to a Xabi Alonso spot-kick.
Cascading Oranje attacks after the interval saw La Roja swept aside as Louis van Gaal’s charges scored four times to seal a 5-1 win, revelling in the doubts of the punters.
Conversely, when assuming favouritism against Australia, Mexico and Costa Rica, they were markedly less impressive.
Rival dug-out occupants won’t know what to expect from master manipulator of the tactics board LVG.
As the tournament has progressed, the elite nations have fine-tuned their formations in accordance with the growing strength of their adversaries.
Brazil kicked lumps out of Colombia and Germany dropped the defence back against France in successful attempts to negate their foes’ strengths.
How can Argentina reconfigure to stymie the Dutch when Van Gaal moulds and remoulds their flubbery framework multiple times per match?
The Netherlands are as close as it comes to kryptonite for Argentina.
Only once in eight meetings – the 1978 World Cup final – have the Dutch suffered defeat to the Albiceleste.
They’ve prevailed (in 90 minutes or post-extra time) in 11 of their previous 12 matches in this tournament, their only loss coming in the 2010 finale.
Such form cannot be bettered by any of their three semi-final bedfellows, which surely makes them worth a title-winning bet by itself.