Puyol Ends German Hopes To Set Up Clash With Holland
Thursday, 8th July 2010 at 10:42am
A single goal from Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol was enough to send Spain through to its first ever World Cup final and a meeting with the Netherlands at Soccer City on Sunday.
In a rematch of the 2008 European Championship final, it was the winners that day, Spain, that repeated the feat and will ensure that there is a new World Champion for the first time since 1998.
Despite the result in Switzerland in 2008, the Germans entered the semi final as probable favourites following wins against England and Argentina in the round of 16 and quarter finals where Joachim Loew's men had netted four goals in each game.
But it was Spain that took control of the game and monopolised possession for large periods of the game, stifling the Germans' every move.
Despite Spanish possession and territorial advantage, Vincente Del Bosque's men were unable to create too many clear chances.
As the game wore on, it fell to Puyol to score the goal that sent Spain through. The veteran centre half had previously missed a fantastic opportunity to score in the opening 45 minutes but made no mistake when he rose to meet a Xavi corner and plant his header in the back of the net.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, Del Bosque's men were able to repel any attacks that Loew's men could throw at them.
Spain's win means they will face the Netherlands on Sunday who halted Uruguay's run to the final with goals from Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and a stunning goal from captain Giovanni van Bronkhurst in a 3-2 win. Diego Forlan and Maxi Pereira scored for the South Americans.
The Netherlands weren't entirely convincing but were settled when van Bronkhurst smashed the ball into the back of the net from some 40 yards to give them the lead.
Forlan bagged his fourth of the finals with a powerful long range shot which Maarten Stekelenburg should've saved to levl the score before half time but two goals in three minutes from Sneijder, his fifth of the finals, and Robben gave the Bert van Marwijk's men a two-goal cushion.
Pereira netted a late consolation goal for Uruguay but the Dutch held on to advance to their third World Cup final.