The World Cup came to a close today in South Africa with Spain announced World Cup Champions for the first time in their history after beating The Netherlands 1-0 in extra time in the World Cup Final today at Soccer City in South Africa, out of form striker Fernanado Torres was dropped to the bench in place of Pedro with both sides keeping faith with the teams that saw them through their semi final encounters.
Spain were quickest team out of the blocks applying early pressure to Dutch side, having a few shots on goal with one hitting the side netting. Both teams were getting stuck in with some heavy tackless and English referee Howard Webb issuing four yellow cards within the first half hour with Robin Van Persie, Mark Van Bommel, Nigel De Jong and Spain’s Carlos Puyol all going into the referee’s book. With De Jong being lucky to stay on the pitch after fly kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest.
Neither side not really having any clear cut chances on goal, and both sides going in goalless at halftime and really should of seen at least one player from each side sent off with tackles flying in left, right and centre,the game has threatening to boil over so the half-time whistle had came just in time.
In the second half both teams looking nervous to break forward in fear of a counter-attack from the opposing side, playing it safe. But it was Spain who got caught on 65 minutes when Arjen Robben broke free, one on one with Iker Casillas, only to be denied by the trailing foot of the Spanish goalkeeper sending Robben’s shot wide of the post.
Moments later David Villa latched on to a lose ball after Heitinga made a mess of a clearance in the six yard box, but Villa was denied with Heitinga redeeming himself with a great last ditch tackle blocking the Spainard out. With most of the possesion being fought out in the middle of the park, battle of the midfielders and deadlock still hadn’t been broke within the 90 minutes.
First period of extra time saw action for both goalkeepers with the best chance falling to Spain’s Cesc Fabregas in the area, only to be denied by the Dutch goalkeeper. Both keepers were both superb throughout the game, saving there sides on each occasion keeping the scores goalless.
Second period of extra-time saw Fernando Torres replace David Villa, Iniesta managed to find him self free on goal, only to be pulled back by John Heitinga who was already on a yellow card and he got his marching orders from referee Howard Webb on 18th minute of extra time leaving Holland with ten players on the pitch, then Xavi sent his free kick over the bar and on the 26th minute of extra-time, Spain went on a counter-attack threading the ball down the right-hand side of the pitch. Sweeping the ball from right to left just outside Holland’s area, with The Dutch being down to ten men, Spain had the extra man over with Iniesta free and he drove it hard and low into the back of the net to win Spain the World Cup for the first ever time.