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July 11, 2010

Netherlands vs Spain, World Cup final, July 11, 2010

Netherlands fans outside City Hall in Cape Town

Spanish fans in Cape Town. Photo by Roy Barford

Cape Town Tourism brings you live commentary from the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City in Soweto.

Netherlands 0 - 1 Spain

Full time: AND THAT’S IT! Spain have won their first World Cup! Several Dutch players break down in tears. One has to feel very sorry for them, having been such entertainers during this World Cup. The Dutch fans have added so much to the World Cup spirit in Cape Town and it has been a pleasure having them.

Extra time 29 minutes: It seems the Dutch will have to look back at several missed opportunities. They have been excellent throughout this World Cup, but they just haven’t taken their chances tonight, against the super Spanish.

Extra time 26 minutes: GOAL!!!! AT LAST! Iniesta scores! Spain lead 1-0, with just four minutes to go. Iniesta gets himself into a good position and smashes a right-footed volley passed a diving Stekelenburg. Paul, the famous German octopus, had predicted that Spain would win this one and he hasn’t been wrong once this tournament.

Extra time 25 minutes: Sneidjer takes a free kick from some 30 metres out. It takes a huge deflection from the Spanish wall, but the referee somehow didn’t see that and awards a goal kick.

Extra time 23 minutes: Neither of these teams have had to go through a penalty shoot-out in this tournament, but it looks like they are going to have to go through one here. Fatigue looks to be setting in, and mental strength will now become a big factor.

Extra time 18 minutes: The Dutch have enjoyed some momentum in this second half of extra time, but are called offside as another attack comes to naught. John Heitinga is red-carded for tugging back Iniesta, and the Dutch will have to play the last 10 minutes with only 10 men on the field.

Extra time 16 minutes: Villa is replaced for Spain. Will that prove costly if the match proceeds to penalties?

Extra time 15 minutes: Nail clippers will certainly be a superfluous item in Spain and the Netherlands in the next few days. That is the first half of extra time complete, still 0-0.

Extra time 14 minutes: Spain continue to dominate and continue to miss chances, as Fabregas pushes another one wide.

Extra time 11 minutes: This time Xavi’s corner goes well wide of the Dutch box and the men in orange accept the let off and clear.

Extra time eight minutes: This time it is Iniesta who hangs on too long and ruins an attacking opportunity as the Dutch defence close in on him. Rafael van der Vaart comes on for the Dutch.

Extra time seven minutes: Xavi’s corner finds Puyol, but his header rolls well wide of the goal and we are still awaiting the first goal.

Extra time five minutes: Oh no, Fabregas blows a one-on-one with Stekelenburg! The Ajax Amsterdam player held his nerve and shut down the Arsenal captain, who left it too late to create an angle for his shot.

Extra time two minutes: Spain appeal for a penalty as Xavi goes down, but the referee disagrees. Robben gets going on the right flank, but is once again tightly marked. He will be hoping to make amends for two missed opportunities in regulation time.

Full time: Regulation time ends without a goal. Both teams look exhausted, as do some of the fans at the Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest. At least another 30 minutes of football lies ahead in the form of extra time.

Added time: There will be two minutes of added time and it looks like we will be here a while longer. Extra time will be two halves of 15 minutes each, followed by penalties if the score remains level at the end of that. Sneijder shoots from about 40 metres out, and doesn’t trouble anyone but the ball boy. The final whistle goes and we will go into extra time.

89 minutes: The ball beats Robben into touch, after he chases down a long pass. Van Persie is called offside as he looks to get into position for a goal that would send Holland into a party frenzy. Not to be on this occasion. 

86 minutes: The crowd go wild as Arsenal star, Fabregas, replaces Alonso. The 23-year-old has watched much of this tournament from the bench, such is the strength of the Spanish side.

82 minutes: Spain certainly seem to have the momentum at present. The Dutch, however, counter and Robben gets another opportunity at the other end, but goes down in the Spanish area. He has a chat with the referee, demanding a penalty, but only gets a yellow card for his efforts. Cool heads are needed at this crucial stage of the game – let’s not forget Zinedine Zidane’s moment of madness four years ago, and how much that cost France when he was sent off at a similar stage in that final.

80 minutes: There are now just 10 minutes left of regulation time, plus a few minutes of added time. Spain win another corner and Xavi takes it. Nothing comes of it as the Dutch defence remains tight. Rafael van der Vaart clears for the Netherlands.

77 minutes: Villa gets into the Dutch box and tries a shot with his left foot. The ball takes a deflection and Spain win a corner. Ramos moves in well to get a head to the corner cross, but the ball balloons over the Dutch crossbar.

68 minutes: Villa spills an opportunity! He had only Stekelenburg to beat, but the Dutch keeper was up to the challenge and makes a diving save. It remains 0-0.

64 minutes: Tensions must be rising in cities like Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona. Here in Cape Town, the fans are crying out for a goal, following 64 minutes of ping-pong. The FIFA Fan Fest has been in full swing here this evening, with some 20 000 people gathering to enjoy live music from Prime Circle and Flash Republic, as well as watch the football on Africa’s biggest screen, which is 75 square metres.

62 minutes: The Netherlands move forward along the ground. Van Persie takes on Puyol in the air and wins the header, but doesn’t find the net. Robben then takes the ball forward but is denied by Casillas. That is a big chance missed, he should have sunk that one.

57 minutes: Andres Iniesta downs Sneijder with a stray boot, but the resulting foul fails to bring any joy for the Dutch. Who will break the deadlock in this historic encounter?

54 minutes: Free kick to Spain. Xabi Alonso takes a shot from around 25 metres out, but it goes wide, again.

50 minutes: Things are certainly getting a lot more physical. Both teams will be hoping to wrap up the game within regulation time, but it is a final, and risks need to be calculated.

47 minutes: Corner to Spain. Xavi’s cross finds the hairy head of Puyol, but the deflection goes wide. There certainly seems a lot more urgency already in the second half.

Half time: The teams go into the break with the score still 0-0.

Added time: Robben fires a low shot in, but Casillas moves swiftly to his left and punches the ball to safety with a diving save. We are in for a tense second half as both teams look to finish the game off in the regulation 90 minutes. The referee calls half time.

45 minutes: Van Persie dances around on the touchline, but two Spanish defenders force a goal kick. There will be two minutes of added time.

42 minutes: Busquets and Sneijder collide and it is the Dutchman who will pick up the caution for the challenge. Both return to their feet. A long-range effort from Alonso goes away to his left, no problems for the Dutch defence there.

40 minutes: Xavi goes to ground like a sack of potatoes and picks up a free kick for Spain. He takes the free kick himself, but is unable to find any of his team mates in the Dutch box. The Netherlands clear the ball up field, as the match remains goalless.

35 minutes: With 10 minutes to go until the break, neither team has yet looked like taking charge of the game. Robben continues to look strong on the flank, and continues to draw several Spanish defenders. Joris Mathijsen has a hoof at the ball in the Spanish box, but connects nothing but fresh air with his left foot, as a chance goes to waste for the Dutch.

32 minutes: Spain now opting to keep the ball on the ground. Villa is being closely watched and has been unable to assert any authority on the game as yet. So much is expected of him tonight after such an excellent tournament!

30 minutes: The score remains 0-0 after the first half hour of play. Spain, of course, still have the likes of Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas on the bench to call on later for attacking options.

26 minutes: Xavi makes an intercept in the Dutch half, but the orange defenders regather quickly and the counter-attack is quickly thwarted.

23 minutes: And the cards keep coming as Ramos is now booked. The referee certainly hasn’t been shy to show his cards tonight.

22 minutes: Mark van Bommel now the guilty party as the Netherlands collect their second booking.

20 minutes: The game is opening up for the Netherlands. Arjen Robben goes on a strong run, but is well marked by three Spanish defenders.

17 minutes: Wesley Sneijder takes his first shot of the match, but Casillas takes it well, low down. Sneijder has already netted five goals during this tournament and has been one the true stars for the Dutch.

16 minutes: Another yellow for Spain, the very shaggy-haired Carles Puyol on the receiving end this time.

15 minutes: Spain start to use more aerial passes. Robin van Persie is yellow-cared for his challenge on Sergio Busquets.

11 minutes: Sergio Ramos fires in a low, hard cross for Spain, but it is intercepted by a Dutch defender and takes a deflection into the crowd. Corner to Spain, but nothing comes of it as the Dutch make their way back up the field.

Eight minutes: Dirk Kuyt takes a shot for the Netherlands, but it flies straight into the safe hands of Iker Casillas. It will take a lot more than that to find the back of the Spanish net and Kuyt knows it.

Five minutes: Maarten Stekelenburg is called on to make an early diving save for the Netherlands. He does well to deny Spain an early breakthrough. He launches himself to his right and pushes the ball away.

Three minutes: David Villa, who has been arguably the most dangerous striker in the tournament so far, is caught offside in his first attacking opportunity for Spain in this match.

One minute: And we are under way. Spain are playing in blue tonight, while the Netherlands don their traditional orange attire.

20h28Welcome to the last match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Neither of these teams has ever won a World Cup, so either way, history will be made this evening. Here in Cape Town, there has been a massive Dutch presence throughout the tournament, but there is also much local support for the Spanish tonight.

Kick-off: 20h30


Netherlands: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 11-Arjen Robben; 9-Robin van Persie.

Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi, 6-Andres Iniesta, 16-Sergio Busquets; 18-Pedro, 7-David Villa.

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