That left the possibility that it would be a trio of rookies claiming the three points Great Britain & Ireland needed for victory.
Francesco Molinari in game three was next to bring home a point for Van de Velde’s side when he tapped in a two foot birdie putt on the 15th for a 4 and 3 victory over Jamie Donaldson.
The Italian was up-and-running with a par at the second after his Welsh opponent was forced to play his approach left-handed from behind a tree.
The Ryder Cup star won the fourth with a six foot par putt, and birdied the sixth from 15 feet.
Donaldson won the seventh with a birdie, but bogeyed the next to be three down once more and when Molinari won the 13th with a birdie the writing was on the wall for Donaldson.
Anders Hansen made it three from three for Continental Europe with a gutsy one up win over Simon Dyson.
The Englishman had won three-and-a-half points out of four over the first three days, but Hansen took the first with a 15 foot birdie and added another at the second to be two up after two.
Hansen took the seventh with a five foot birdie putt, before Dyson played a magnificent wedge approach to the next to spark a comeback.
He won the 11th and 13th, but no sooner was last week’s KLM Open winner all square than Hansen sunk a 30 footer at the 14th to lead again.
A 20 foot putt at the 16th put Hansen dormie two, and although Dyson took the par five next Hansen displayed nerves of steel on the final green to roll in a birdie putt from 25 feet.
Alex Noren then beat Robert Rock 4 and 3 - the Englishman failed to make a single birdie - and suddenly the score was 11½-10½.
Like Hansen before him, the Swede had birdied the first two holes, the latter from 12 feet.
A 15 footer at the eighth helped him turn five up and although Rock took the tenth and 12th with pars, Noren won the 13th and drew the next two to make it four from four at the top of the order for Continental Europe.
McGinley might have hoped Open Champion Darren Clarke could stop the rot in game five but the Northern Irishman had a round to forget as he lost 4 and 2 to former Ryder Cup partner Miguel Angel Jiménez.
That squared the scores, the Spaniard another to win the first two with birdies.
Clarke did birdie the ninth from eight feet to be all square at the turn, but his card was littered with dropped shots after that and when his tee shot went in the water at the 16th the pair shook hands.
The 11th hole provided some relief for Great Britain & Ireland - after Jacquelin had won four in a row to lead Foster by one the Englishman sank a 50 foot putt to be all square.
And moments later Peter Hanson missed a six foot putt to hand the hole to Ross Fisher, who led the bottom game one up as a result.
Horsey had continued his week-long putting masterclass with a 25 foot effort at the first and looked good for Great Britain & Ireland’s first point at two up with four to play.
But big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts tapped in for birdie at the par five 15th, scrambled par from a bunker at the short next and levelled the contest with an eight footer at the 17th.
Both players parred the last for a half to make it 12-12.
Scotland’s Jamieson added a first win for McGinley’s side with a one up win over Pablo Larrazábal, despite a brave fightback from the Spaniard.
It was an impressive performance from the rookie - all the more so considering the drama that had been going on in the groups ahead.
Needing one and a half points from the last three groups, Great Britain & Ireland had Fisher two up with three to play while Ian Poulter and Matteo Manassero were all square coming down the last, as were Foster and Jacquelin a hole further back.
Poulter was never ahead in his match, but snatched it one up at the last after a sublime approach to five feet from the rough.
And with Foster going one up at the 17th, Great Britain & Ireland were certain to get the half required to retain the trophy.