FIFA World Cup 2010!
Spain have won the World Cup
after defeating a sturdy Dutch side 1-0 win after extra time.
Andres Iniesta was the goal hero with only four minutes before the
expected penalty kicks. He received the ball from Cesc Fabregas and
drove home to victorious celebrations.
It was an epic match, but the Spanish deserved to win.
They controlled the tempo and have been the most impressive team in
the tournament, despite losing their opening fixture against
Holland can be proud of their effort and had their chances, but
ultimately came up short against a superior outfit. They also had Johnny
Heitinga sent off for two bookable offences.
After some early initial pressure, Spain almost scored after five
minutes. Xaviís free kick found Sergio Ramos, but his header was saved
excellently by Maarten Stekenlenburg, and Gerard Pique was unable to do
anything with the rebound.
The Dutch looked nervous and were unable to keep hold of the ball.
Ramos easily weaved into the opposition box but his cross was cleared
only a few yards from goal. David Villa was next up to try his luck with
a volley, but the angle was too tight and the ball nestled into the side
Holland did finally threaten through a Wesley Sneijder free kick
after 18 minutes, but despite a tricky bounce, Iker Casillas gathered
the ball easily.
However, they were not making great inroads, and the Spanish were
predictably dominating the play. The game, though, started to slow down
after 20 minutes as both teams appeared to be aware of what was at
stake. The first half an hour will be remembered more for the yellow
cards than anything else Ė three for Holland and two for Spain Ė with
Nigel de Jong lucky still to be on the park after a Kung Fu kick on Xabi
The Netherlands could have taken the lead with ten minutes left of
the first half remaining. A clever corner allowed Mark van Bommel to set
up Joris Mathijsen but the defender missed the ball when he swung for
Despite Spainís dominance in possession, apart from the opening ten
minutes, they did not look like scoring, with Villa and Xavi looking
And it was Holland who finished the first half the stronger. Arjen
Robbenís twenty yard drive forced Casillas to parry the ball out for a
corner, and they were unable to make anything from the set piece.
Spain upped the tempo in the second half and may have scored through
Joan Capdevila after Carles Puyolís assist, but the defender completely
miskicked the ball when shooting.
The Dutch still looked good going forward, particularly through
Robben and Robin van Persie, and the former should have opened the
scoring. He found himself clear in on goal, but the side footed effort
clipped of Casillasí boot and wide.
It was a golden opportunity for the Bayern Munich star, and he really
should have done better.
And he was almost made to pay for his miss with twenty minutes to go.
Jesus Navasí cross found Villa who looked poised to score. However, the
ball was blasted off Heitinga and over the bar. And then the Barcelona
new boy tried a spectacular volley, but this attempt was never going to
come off. Even still, worryingly for Holland, Villa was starting to make
The game was starting to really open up at this point. Whether it was
down to fatigue or more ambition from both sides, the contest started to
live up to its billing. Spain had their best chance with less than 15
minutes remaining through Ramos, but his free header from only six yards
out went well over. Van Bommel was lucky to still be on the pitch at
Despite being on a booking he continually fouled throughout the
match, with Iniesta feeling the brunt of a follow through. Spain were
looking the fitter and stronger towards the end of the ninety minutes,
and if it wasnít for some desperate defending from the Dutch, the game
could have been settled by now. But Robben found himself in a similar
position he was in earlier. A lump up the field sent him clear, but some
great goalkeeping by Casillas snuffed out the chance.
Robben was booked after the incident after complaining that he should
have been awarded a penalty.
Spain then brought on Fabregas for Alonso in what was a very
attacking substitution. The gaps in the Dutch defence were evident and
it was surprising that they hadnít already taken advantage of their
With the match heading for extra time, the Dutch looked tired and the
Spanish players were still looking as comfortable on the ball as they
did at the beginning.
Then, into extra time, Spain appealed for a penalty from referee
Howard Webb. Xavi appeared to fall in the box, but there was nothing
really in it. The midfielder looked to be the one who offended, not the
The game was really heating up by now: Fabregas had a big chance with
only Stekelenburg to beat, but his shoot was tame and straight at the
Ajax goalkeeper. Then Casillas was found in no mans land, but
Mathijsenís header was well over. And then Navasí deflected shot almost
did the goalkeeper, but fortunately for him, the ball trickled wide.
With only 12 minutes to go, Heitinga was sent off for two bookable
offences after pulling back Iniesta.
It was a deserved booking and the match really now was Spainís to
lose. And they made the extra man count with just minutes remaining in
extra time through Iniesta. A great break from Navas allowed his
teammates to spread the ball across the filed. Fabregas played in the
free Iniesta who fired home. Stekelenburg got a touch, but the shot was
too powerful to prevent into hitting the net.
It was a wonderful moment for Iniesta and Spain. The celebrations
were unreal, and Casillas looked as if he was in tears after the goal.
They knew the game was over, as the Dutch had little time to make a
Spain then counted down the clock to win their very first World Cup.
Netherlands:Stekelenburg, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst (Braafheid,
105), Van Bommel, De Jong (Van der Vaart, 99) Sneijder, Kuyt (Elia, 70),
Van Persie, Robben.
Spain: Casillas, Pique, Puyol, Capdevila, Sergio Ramos, Iniesta, Xavi,
Alonso (Fabregas, 87) Busquets, Villa (Torres, 105) Pedro (G Jesus Navas,