2010 World Cup – South Africa – Soccer – SI.com
Dutch adopt substance over style
Dutch adopt substance over style at World Cup – Ben Lyttleton – SI.com
Spain vs. Netherlands World Cup final play-by-play analysis – Georgina Turner – SI.com
Spain 1 Netherlands 0
To shrieks, cheers and of course vuvuzelas, the Spanish team climbs the stairs. A few of them kiss the trophy with great passion, then look up and see Sepp Blatter grinning at them. That’ll kill their ardour.
Torres hopped skipped and jumped up the stairs, by all accounts, so Liverpool/Chelsea/Man City fans can breathe easy.
Casillas lifts the trophy in the air, there’s ticker tape everywhere, and Spain dance about on the podium in tears.
“Campeones!” they sing, grabbing the trophy from one another every few seconds, trying not to look greedy about it. I love these moments. Juding by the look on his face, Sneijder… not so much.
Blatter just dived headlong into the crowd along the steps in rockstar fashion. The moment’s gone to his head.
A Dutch guard of honor greets Spain back onto the pitch, some players doing it with more grace than others. Must be hard when all you want to do is climb into the bath and stay there for a few hours.
Waiting to go up to pick up the trophy, Spain have put on new shirts with a star above the badge. Good job they won, eh? Wasteful expenditure in these difficult times, etc and so on.
Howard Webb and his team do a spot of hand-shaking and pick up their medals to a chorus of whistles from the largely Dutch crowd.
Now the Dutch collect their medals, looking a broken bunch, to be honest. Van Bronckhorst sniffs deeply, wondering what if.
It’s not over yet folks, we’re sticking around for the trophy presentation, if you can spare me your time for a while longer.
The final whistle has blown and Spain have won the World Cup for the first time!
The Dutch look very sorry for themselves, and Sneijder is raging at an official for some slight no one else is quite sure about. But only one team has really played soccer tonight; Spain were certainly shaken from their usual cool, but the Netherlands’ dirty play failed to do no more. Van Bommel and de Jong were both lucky to make it to half time. Spain came into this as favorite and no one can really say they don’t deserve this; Germany might have been more electric, but even they looked humbled to be on the pitch with Spain earlier this week.
Yellow Card – Xavi
Displaying fine English consistency, Webb books Xavi for kicking the ball away having let Robben off the hook.
Chasing a long ball, Torres has pulled up and dropped to the floor. The Dutch play on, but it looks like Torres could well miss the beginning of next season.
Two minutes more for Robben to try frantically to avert a lifetime of night terrors.
Goal – Iniesta
Iniesta has lashed in for Spain to leave Stekelenburg on his backside.
Mathijsen has been booked for stopping just short of physically assualting the referee and his linesman. Fabregas fed the ball from the D to Iniesta on the right with a beautifully weighted ball, with Iniesta lurking in plenty of space onside. He planted it bang in the far bottom corner. Booked for taking his shirt off, but I don’t think he’ll mind that.
“Please, not another final decided on penalties,” cries Brian O’Connor, and the rest of us. “Wimbledon doesn’t allow tie breakers in the 5th set. Why can’t the World Cup final go until a golden goal?” We’d be here all night. Sneijder’s freekick came off at least two Spain players and the ref gives a goalkick!
Arjen Robben is incredibly lucky not to get a second yellow for kicking the ball away. If this goes to penalties, Holland will feel very lucky to have him on the pitch. Unless he skies it, of course.
Xavi puts another free-kick into the area, but Stekelenburg’s fist gets to it before Ramos’s hair. Navas tries to smash the rebound goalwards from distance, but it’s a wild lash.
Xavi puts the free-kick straight over the bar, Stekelenburg doesn’t even pretend to look worried about it.