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Iniesta wins the World Cup (0-1)

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11.07.2010 23:21

Iniesta wins the World Cup (0-1)

Jesús Carrillo

FC Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta scored the only goal as Spain beat the Netherlands to win the World Cup in South Africa on Sunday evening.

Celebracix2.JPGThe Blaugrana were dominant for La Selección with no less than eight players in Vicente del Bosque’s squad and seven of those starting the encounter with the Dutch in Johannesburg.

Playing in the style of Barça the Spanish included Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pedro and David Villa in the team and their technique and fluency drove the team to victory. The goalscoring was also dominated by the Catalan outfit as they netted all of Spain’s goals as Villa scored five, Iniesta two and Puyol one.

Bright start

Del Bosque’s team set out to win the final from the start and began brightly as the Dutch took their time finding their feet. Holland, meanwhile, were intent on preventing their opponents from implementing their quick passing game and attempted to stamp it out, almost literally.

Robin van Persie, Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel all received bookings and the Oranje could arguably have been down to ten men, but for the leniency of referee Howard Webb.

Breaking clear

Xavi_i_Holanda.JPGSlowly but surely the Dutch began to play football and that also allowed Spain to also try and find a way through as both sides were keen to prevent the other from breaking clear and scoring the opener.

The second half did not see a great change in the way the game flowed as fouls broke up the play and there was not as much fluency from either side. More yellow cards were the order of the day for the Dutch too as Webb had to dip into his pocket yet again.

Robben denied

Arjen Robben then had the best chance of the game until then as he raced clear just after the hour mark but was foiled by his former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas in the Spanish goal.

Ramos could have given la Selección the lead when he met a corner, but he was unable to repeat Puyol’s semi-final effort as he headed over. Robben had a second good chance as he took on Puyol and Catalan Joan Capdevila once more, but again he was unable to beat Casillas.

Former Blaugrana youth starlet Cesc Fàbregas then entered the fray when he replaced Xabi Alonso in the Spain midfield and the Arenys del Mar playmaker quickly found his touch.

Extra time

With no goals in the opening 90 minutes the game went into extra time and Spain began to take advantage of some tiredness on both teams. Fàbregas could have been the first beneficiary when he found himself with only the Maarten Stekelenburg to beat but the keeper made a good save.

Iniesta was next to push forward, but he was blocked out in the area before Jesús Navas saw a drive deflected into the side netting. Spain were dominating possession, but the Dutch looked capable of holding on for penalties or maybe even grabbing a late winner.

Torres for Villa

Iniesta_emocionat.JPGThat all changed with ten minutes remaining when Holland were reduced to ten men as Iniesta was pulled back by Joris Mathijsen and the defender was shown a second yellow card and then a red.

Villa was denied the chance of becoming the top scorer in the competition when he was replaced by Torres, but he will not be concerned as with 116 minutes on the clock Iniesta scored the winner. Fàbregas found the Barça playmaker on the right of the area and he took one touch before driving the ball across the keeper and into the net to spark wild scenes of celebration.
Iniesta wins the World Cup (0-1)
Match stats
Holland 0

Spain 1

Holland: Stekelemburg; Van der Wierre, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Gio (Braafheid m.105); Van Bommel, De Jong (Van der Vaart m.99); Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt (Elía m. 70), Van Persie.

Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Piqué, Puyol, Capdevila; Sergio Busquets, Alonso (Cesc m. 86), Xavi; Pedro (Jesús Navas m.60), Iniesta, David Villa F. Torres m. 105).

Goals: 0-1 Iniesta, m. 116

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