Spain rules

2010-07-11 21:56

Tears of joy – and of distraught – flowed as Spain were crowned the

new world champions.

Referee Howard Webb’s final whistle was met by mixed feelings from

both sides.

While Holland players fell down in agony after coming so close to

claiming their first ever World Cup title tonight, Spain captain Iker Casillas

could not control his emotions as he cried tears of joy.

La Roja defeated Holland 1-0 in a tightly contested final to claim

its first World Cup trophy after Andrés Iniesta’s 116th minute strike separated

the two sides to add to their 2008 Euro title.

So Paul the Octopus got it right once again when he predicted that

Spain would win it.

But this game could have gone either way as both sides created

scoring chances but fluffed them in the process.

Holland’s Arjen Robben was the worst culprit as his 60th and

82nd minute misses cost his side the championship. Holland has now joined

Germany as three-time World Cup final losers.

Busiest on field

Webb was the busiest man on field and had to issue 14 yellow cards

and one red card as he tried to keep the game under his control.

In fact the English referee has been the busiest in this World Cup

as before this game he had already shown 17 yellow cards in three matches.

Dutch defender John Heitinga joined Zinedine Zidane and three others on the list of players who have received red cards in a World Cup final game.

Heitinga’s marching orders proved to be the turning point of the

game as Spain took advantage of their extra man to launch more attacks and it

paid off in the 116th minute.

Touted as one of the best ever World Cup finals, the game failed to

live up to its hype as both teams played a tactical game.

The expected duel between leading goalscorers David Villa and

Wesley Sneijder, who were on five goals, also failed to materialise as they were

quiet by their standards.

Both sides had chances of settling the score in the 90 minutes but

Villa and Sergio Ramos and Robben’s misses meant the game had to go to extra


Substitute Cesc Fàbregas was given the opportunity to become an

instant hero in the 95th minute but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg thwarted his


Game on!

Holland captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst got a standing ovation as

he was substituted by Edson Braafheid in his last game for his country.

But Spain had saved their best for last as Iniesta popped in at the

back to snatch victory with four minutes remaining on the clock.

Well done, La Roja.

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