Minggu, 11 Juli 2010

Final: Spain are champions!

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will allow a new nation to add its name to the list of football world champions as the Netherlands face Spain.

Netherlands 0-1 (0-0) [0-0] Spain (extra time)
Goals: 0-1 Andres Iniesta (116').

Spain are the new world champions in football. In the final at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg the Spanish defeated the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time. It was an Andres Iniesta goal in the 116th minute which gave the Furia Roja their first world title and they follow-up their 2008 European Championship triumph with the global title to show their dominance on world football. But the performances in the World Cup tournament weren't of the level of Euro2008.

Sadly the match never rose to any heights and referee Howard Webb from England handed out 12 yellow cards and a yellow-card to Johnny Heitinga in a match which was not too hard, but even though Webb allowed a lot of freedom the players didn't utilise it and some where asking for red cards. Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong should have seen red cards for rough fouls, while the man who scored the winner for Spain Andres Iniesta should have seen the red card for a retaliation on van Bommel. And towards the end a lot of players from both sides were seem lamenting with the referee.

Spain were the better side on display, but after a good start with a header from Sergio Ramos saved by Martin Steckelenburg in the 5th minute it was as often in the tournament, Spain had most of the possession while the opponent was relying on counter attacks. The Dutch had their best chance on the brink of half time from an Arjen Robben shot which Iker Casillas cleared for a corner.

After the break Spain continued to control the game, but their passing wasn't as good as it could be. And then Arjen Robben had the best chance of the game for the Dutch. Wesley Sneijder send through a ball for Robben who only has Casillas to beat, but his shot is deflected of the foot from his former Real Madrid foot for a corner. Spain's best chance was wasted by David Villa when Heitinga in the box hits over the ball and Villa can't put the ball in with Heitinga recovering to clear. But the match headed for a goalless draw as both sides only had half chances.

In extra time the match suddenly gained pace and Spain looked the better side. Substitute Cesc Fabregas was beautifully put through by Iniesta, but his shot is blocked by Steckelenburg's foot in the 95th minute. On the other side the Dutch could have gone ahead, but defender Joris Mathijsen headed a corner over. Then in the 109th minute the Dutch were reduced to 10 men when Heitinga received a second yellow card for stopping Iniesta from going through. And in the remaining minutes Spain were looking for the winner with the Dutch looking more and more tired after a running intensive game. And the golden goal which would decide the World Cup final came in the 116th minute when Fabregas found a free Iniesta and the Barca star placed the ball into the net, which resulted in big celebrations in the Spain camp. The Dutch had no answer and it ended 1-0 for Spain to bring curtains to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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