One game to rule the world. Spain and the Netherlands played to stand a top the world of soccer for the first time. The Netherands have missed out on two previous opportunities to win the title. Spain, the defending European champions, were in their first final at a World Cup. But only one team could raise FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Spain 1 vs. Netherlands 0 (ET) – The final was a dream that turned into a nightmare. Two skilled sides known for their attacking let the game turn into a physical and defensive battle. It took 116 minutes of hard-fought football for somebody to step up and be the hero. It was Andres Iniesta who took the pass from Cesc Fabregas and chipped it past the keeper. It was slightly controversial because Iniesta appeared to be offside at first glance but replays showed he was onside by several yards and had just caught the Dutch defender napping.
The star of this game will likely be referee Howard Webb. The youngest man to ever be appointed referee of a World Cup final seemed to fulfill one of his wife’s warnings. She said that Webb had trouble controlling his three kids at home. He issued a World Cup final record thirteen yellow cards (and one red on a double-yellow) during the match. He also blew the whistle for 47 fouls. Apparently, he had trouble controlling 22 kids too. A late denial of a corner kick to the Oranje may have made all the difference in this one.
The win allows La Furia Roja to continue a European tradition. Every European World Cup champion claimed the trophy in their first appearance in the World Cup final. The Netherlands were in their third World Cup final. Not only was history against the Dutch in this one but so was Paul the Octopus. Paul’s selection of Spain made him a perfect 8-for-8 in this edition of the World Cup.
Man of the Match: Andres Iniesta (Spain) – 1 goal (game winning goal)
Next World Cup Match:
June 13, 2014 in Brazil