Spain beat Netherlands in thrilling final played at Soccer City Stadium ay Johannesburg, Goal from Andres Iniesta (Barcelona Player) in second extra time. 116th minute of game made them feel proud for the first time as they become new World Champions.
The Barcelona star collected a pass from Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas just inside the box and fired past Maarten Stekelenburg to spark wild celebrations among the players on the pitch and empty the Spanish bench.
Earlier John Heitinga had been sent off in extra time as the match looked to be drifting to penalties – until Iniesta picked his spot late on.
The match before that had been a scrappy affair, with the main talking points being bad tackles and bookings as nine players had their names taken by referee Howard Webb during 90 minutes.
Arjen Robben was perhaps the most guilty player of spurning guilt-edged opportunities to give the Dutch their first ever World Cup crown.
The former Chelsea winger found himself clean through on goal twice, but was denied by Iker Casillas’ right foot on the first occasion and then by a combination of the Spanish keeper and some heavy-handed defending from Carles Puyol.
Spain also had their chances though, with Giovanni van Bronkhorst denying Andreas Iniesta with a last-ditch tackle, an unmarked Sergio Ramos heading over from six yards, and Cesc Fabregas firing straight at Maarten Stekelenburg when sent clear.
In total, 14 yellow cards were handed out – including two to Heitinga and nine to Holland – and Spain were the better side with their patient, passing approach.
The Dutch showed great organization and resilience to stay with their talented opponents through 116 minutes.
But ultimately they were denied because of their one-man deficit, which left too much space for Spain to exploit in behind.
The Netherlands have now lost three World Cup finals following their defeats in 1974 and 1978.
But Euro 2008 winners Spain can now deservedly count themselves among the nine nations to have lifted the most sought-after trophy in sport.