Spanish Fiesta Because of Iniesta

13 yellow cards, one red card, and one goal later, Spain claimed its first World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

Being a referee for the biggest game in the tournament is no easy task. Still, there were some questionable calls made in this match. During the first half, Holland’s De Jong was given a yellow card for kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest. The ball was nowhere near the play and De Jong should have been given a red card. There were a few other yellow cards that shouldn’t have been given but the officiating did not take away from all the action on the field which is all the matters.

Although they didn’t come away with the victory, the Netherlands played a very solid game. Arjen Robben was playing like a man on a mission. He had a few great chances to score and made a lot of exciting plays. Wesley Sneijder wasn’t really noticeable on the field today which probably has a lot to do with fatigue.

Throughout the tournament, Holland has had great success on its set plays. They continued to set-up some incredible plays today but just couldn’t convert. Still very impressive!

Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst made some game saving plays in the final match of his career. Coach Bert Van Marwijk chose to substitute Bronckhorst for Edson Braafheid in the 105th minute, not a good decision.

The brutal tournament continued for Fernando Torres. Although he didn’t start in this game, Torres was substituted in the 106th minute. He wasn’t very affective and sadly, Torres went down with a hamstring injury right at the end of the game.

One of the most impressive players in the game was Jesus Navas who came into the game for Pedro in the second half. Navas didn’t play in any other game in South Africa but showed great skill and quickness throughout the match.

Regulation solved nothing and it looked like the game was headed to penalty kicks. Then, the man of the match, Andres Iniesta made a smart move to get on side and score the game winning goal. Both goalies were solid in this game, making their share of important saves. Unfortunately, Maarten Stekelenburg had no chance on this one.

The 2008 Euro Champs are now World Champions but once you’re on top, the only place to fall is down.

World Cup Final Results
Spain 1-0 Netherlands

Bronze Medal Game Results
Germany 3-2 Uruguay

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Raptors Devotee
July 11, 2010 6:26 pm

Come on, what kind of a bush league comment was that to end your column? “once you’re on top, the only place to fall is down”. The player’s haven’t even showered yet and you are already wishing them to fall on their faces?

Show a bit of professionalism and unbiased reporting in your writing. Personally, I couldn’t care less who won, I just wanted a good game, but it is obvious to me who you did NOT want to win.

July 11, 2010 7:24 pm

I thought the ref did a pretty decent job. People are going to be critical of him because of the number of cards given but I thought the game was extremely physical and most of the cards were deserved. Even if you want to argue some of them shouldn’t have been cards they were at the very least fouls. He didn’t give any cards when there was an obvious dive which is something we’ve seen far too often in this World Cup. I think he did a good job of letting the players decide the outcome of the game.

But hey, it wouldn’t be a soccer game if the losing team (and fans) didn’t complain about the referee after the game.

July 11, 2010 7:31 pm

I was actually rooting for Spain and thought both teams were evenly matched and played a great game.
Wasn’t trying to offend anyone with my final comment in any way.
Good on them for being on top of every aspect of the soccer world right now

Raptors Devotee
July 12, 2010 8:27 am

Even so there was no need to close your article in that fashion. It did come across as petty, even if that was not your intention.

July 12, 2010 4:55 pm

Aaah RD I think you are being harsh, I think it’s a normal thing to say that when you are on top everybody has their sights on you. Which makes Spain win even more impressive as they won Euro so everybody was already having an eye on them.

The game wasn’t a beauty but the strategy was certainly interesting. Netherlands wanted to slow Spain’s passing by fouling them constantly, the ref did show yellows cards. The guy who got a double yellow probably didn’t deserve the second yellow but then again the Holland guy who did the karate kick early in the game probably deserved a straight red.

I wouldn’t call it boring, that word is too simplistic for any sport (which I heard a lot on radio) it was a defensive strategy of a game that can happen with any sport from basketball constant fouls against a big man to football running offense.

Third place games are always fun in that let’s show our skills because there’s no pressure all star game kind of way. Again many are questioning if it’s worth it, I say keep that, these guys booked the hotels probably for the weekend when they made it to the semi, so why not just have a game with them.

Raptors Devotee
July 12, 2010 5:36 pm

FMT, I do have a flair for the dramatic sometimes, so my reaction may have been more heated than necessary.

The article by Alessia itself I was fine with, and she did state there was no malcontent towards Spain intended, and in fact was rooting for Spain. I just wish she had skipped that last part.

It takes so much work and effort to win a championship, I always feel that right after people are always looking ahead to winning another one, or if a certain player will be back, etc. Just let them enjoy the moment for a while. They deserve it.

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