Johannesburg: Spanish Armada sailed through with power and won the FIFA World Cup 2010 with Andres Iniesta netting the winner in the second half of extra time. The 1 – 0 lead in the 116th minute was something the Netherlands could not equalise, losing their third World Cup final.
Spain’s maiden World Cup title sparked the fires of celebration all over the stadium and the world over. They started as the pre-tournament favourites and lived up to the claim of the best football team in the world with authority.
The end of the first extra-time saw no goal by either Spain or Holland as both the teams failed to outdo each other as yellow card fever hit Johannesburg. The referees had fixed second extra time to get a result as Spain cropped-up a surprise substitution, bringing in Fernando Torres in the 105th minute in place of David Villa. The striker did his part in setting up the winning goal, and his rickety journey in the World Cup came to a positive end.
A big opportunity was given to the Netherlands too in the 67th minutes as Capdevila was cautioned with a yellow card after stopping Van Persie in his tracks. The striker had broken away from his marker.
Following this, Robben`s free kick was met by the imposing Gerard Pique who domineeringly headed the ball clear of danger.
Spain and Holland were goalless at half-time of the World Cup final as the evenly fought battle ensued uninterrupted forty five minutes of adrenaline pumping football.
Yellow cards had rained as five were handed in the first half-hour of the match. The last one at the 28th minute by Nigel De Jong hurt Xabi Alonso badly as a boot to the chest of the midfielder provoked a chorus of boos around Soccer City.
The high octane World Cup 2010 final had begun with both Spain and Holland trying to go one up right from the word go. The first glimpse of what the Spanish could do came in the 3rd minute as Iniesta ghosted through the midfield, only to see the move break down when Pedro stumbled to the ground.
Seconds later, Van der Wiel concedes the first free-kick of the night.
Van Persie was the first man booked for a mistimed tackle on Capdevila in the 14th minute as the Arsenal man continued to cut a frustrated figure upfront. A couple of minutes later, Spain’s Carles Puyol was given a yellow card too, the first for a Spanish player.
All eyes were on David Villa and Arjen Robben as the offensive field was charged with action.
The FIFA title was on display at Soccer City with the jam packed stadium coming alive with the sound of Vuvuzela in the air. The predictions were rife with a large chunk of experts favouring with Spain while a gamut of Dutch supporters over-flew the stadium with orange. An unidentified spectator did stir up some drama as he ran onto the field and covered the trophy with a cap before he was held by the security personnel.
Spain announced their line up for the final with Barcelona wide man Pedro landing a starting slot, and Fernando Torres having to settle for a place on the bench.
Spain: Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Capdevila; Xabi Alonso, Busquets; Pedro, Xavi, Iniesta; Villa
The Netherlands: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst; De Jong, Van Bommel; Kuyt, Sneijder, Robben; Van Persie.