Iniesta Goal Puts Spanish In Footballing Heaven
Tuesday, 13th July 2010 at 10:25am
A goal from Barcelona star Andres Iniesta deep into extra time was enough to give Vincente Del Bosque's Spanish team a one nil win over the Netherlands and secure the Iberian nation's first ever world title.
Spain was many people's favourites before the finals began and have now added the Fifa World Cup to the UEFA European Championships trophy they won two years ago.
In a final that will be remembered by many for the number of yellow cards issued by Howard Webb and for the aggressive tactics employed by the Dutch, it was little more than Spain deserved.
Both sides were bidding to become world champions for the first time in their long histories, while the Dutch were hoping to equal Brazil's record of winning every single qualifying and finals match, something the South Americans did before and during the World Cup in 1970.
As in virtually all of their previous fixtures, the Spanish enjoyed the lion's share of possession but struggled to create clear cut chances against a resolute Netherlands rearguard.
Bert van Marwijk's side had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the second half when Wesley Sneijder's pass found winger Arjen Robben.
The outstanding Dutch star bore down on the Spanish goal but found Iker Casillas in top form as he saved with his feet to keep the scores level.
As the game wore on, the yellow card count rose and as the game went into extra time, Everton player Johnny Heitinga was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
On as a substitute, Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was behind Spain's best moves as time ticked by and it was his pass that found Iniesta and the Barcelona man lashed the ball past Maarten Steklenberg to seal victory for a jubilant Spain team.
The only negative time of the game from the Spanish point of view was when striker Fernando Torres pulled up with a leg injury in the dying seconds of the match.
As the Dutch slumped to the ground in despair, Spain captain Casillas received the trophy from Sepp Blatter to elevate Spain to the pantheon of world cup winners.