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Tag Archives: Spain Football Team

WE all know that Spain took the top FIFA prize in South Africa (see below), but these are the other awards the governing body dished out.

Golden Ball – Best Player

Diego Forlán (Uruguay)

Golden Boot – Top Goalscorer

Thomas Müller (Germany)

5 Goals & 3 Assists

Golden Glove – Best Goalkeeper

Iker Casillas (Spain)

Best Young Player – Best Under-21

Thomas Müller (Germany)

Fair Play Trophy – Most Disciplined Team

Spain

Zakumi: “Can’t argue with these, but where are your awards?”

P92: “Er…They’ll be on tomorrow.”

2010 World Champions - Spain

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Netherlands

0

vs.(AET)

1

Spain

MotM = Andrés INIESTA (ESP)

Andrés INIESTA 116’

Final

Ref = Howard WEBB (ENG)

Johannesburg – JSC

SPAIN won their first World Cup last night with a 1-0 extra-time win over the Netherlands, who taste bitter defeat in the Final for a third time.

The Spanish exploded out of the starting blocks as they went for an early goal. Sergio Ramos had a close-range header saved less than five minutes in and David Villa hit the side netting soon after.

Dutch number eight Nigel de Jong was lucky not to have been sent-off when he kicked XABI ALONSO in the chest. Mark van Bommel (Netherlands) was also lucky to still be on the pitch in the first half.

Netherlands finished the first 45 minutes the stronger side, and continued with that momentum when the game restarted. Spain did up their game, but had captain Iker Casillas to thank when he saved a shot from Arjen Robben with his leg after the Dutchman and he went one-on-one.

It was now Spain’s turn to have the most of the game. Villa saw his close-range effort cleared away from goal and Ramos this time headed over when he should’ve scored. Robben then tried his luck again at the other end of the pitch, and again Casillas got in his way.

The second half also saw both number sixes, van Bommel and Andrés Iniesta nearly have a fight, but I’d call it handbags at ten paces.

With the score at 0-0 after 90 minutes, we went into extra-time.

Cesc Fábregas had two great chances to give Spain the lead, but one was saved by Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg and the other went wide. Team-mate Jesús Navas almost scored in the first period of extra-time as well but his shot was deflected into the side netting by Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst in his last ever game.

In the second period of extra-time both sides well and truly went for it. Nobody wanted penalties like the 2006 Final. What was already a bad tempered game boiled over when English ref Howard Webb gave a second yellow card to Dutchman John Heitinga.

With just four minutes left, Spain tore into the Dutch half of the pitch, and Iniesta smashed the ball into the goal from the resulting attack. Spain held on for the last few minutes to become World Champions for the very first time.

This was a brutal game of football, but wasn’t the classic I was expecting it to be. The Dutch seemed to think that they could literally break Spain down. Neither side gave English ref Howard Webb an easy game, but he did the very best job he could under the circumstances. All in all, the best (and right) team won.

This Final saw a number of firsts for the World Cup, and here they are:

  • The first Final since 1978 (Argentina vs. Netherlands) with two teams who had never previously won the title.
  • The first ever Final not to have either: Brazil, Italy, Germany or Argentina in it.
  • Spain becomes the first European side to win the World Cup outside of Europe.
  • The first time that two different European sides have won the World Cup consecutively: (Italy 2006, Spain 2010). The previous occasion Europe won the World Cup back-to-back was with Italy in 1934 and 1938.
  • Spain also becomes the first team to have lost their opening game (0-1 to Switzerland) and then go on to win the World Cup.

Some other notable records are:

  • This was the first World Cup that saw both of the previous finalists (Italy and France) eliminated in the groups. They both finished bottom of their groups.
  • The Final saw a record 14 yellow cards with one red.
  • Spain scored the fewest ever amount of goals by the Champions with just eight. They only let in two, tying with France in 1998 and Italy in 2006.

Zakumi: “Congratulations Spain on winning your first ever World Cup.”

P92: “I echo that. Tomorrow you will be able to see the FIFA awards for players and teams, and my own special awards along with them.”

Zakumi: “I can’t wait for that.”

P92: “Me neither.”

 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

3

Germany

Edinson CAVANI 28’

Diego FORLÁN 51’

MotM = Thomas MÜLLER (GER)

Thomas MÜLLER 19’

Marcell JANSEN 56’

Sami KHEDIRA 82’

Match for Third Place

Ref = Benito ARCHUNDIA (MEX)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

GERMANY won the bronze medal last night after beating Uruguay in another epic Match for Third Place in the World Cup.

Thomas Müller opened the scoring after pouncing on Bastian Schweinsteiger’s spilled long range shot just before the 20 minute mark. Schweinsteiger was at fault for Uruguay’s equaliser though. He was dispossessed on the half way line, and Edinson Cavani scored from the counter attack just nine minutes later.

Uruguay made it 2-1 in their favour when Diego Forlán volleyed the ball into the ground with enough power to send it into the goal from just outside the penalty area. But Germany levelled the game at 2-2 just five minutes later through Marcell Jansen. The Uruguay keeper missed the ball from a cross and all Jansen had to do was be brave and get his head on the ball, which he did.

Germany won the game in the 82nd minute when the Uruguayan defence failed to clear a corner, allowing Sami Khedira to head home.

But the drama wasn’t over yet. Right at the end of injury-time Uruguay were awarded a free-kick deep in Germany’s half. Forlán took the free-kick but hit the bar with what turned out to be the very last kick of the match.

Zakumi: “It’s the big one today. Do you have your preview ready?”

P92: “Yes, and it is just this. The Netherlands and Spain have never won the World Cup before. They have never played each other before in a World Cup finals match or European Championship finals match. It will be the first time that a European team have won the World Cup outside of Europe. Also it is the first Final without either: Brazil, Italy, Germany or Argentina in it.”

Zakumi: “Not to mention England’s Howard Webb refereeing the match.”

P92: “Hold onto your seats world. This should be a classic.”

Today’s game is:

The 2010 World Cup Final. Netherlands vs. Spain, BBC 1 and ITV. Kick-off at 19:30.

 

 

Germany

0

vs.

1

Spain

MotM = XAVI (ESP)

Carles PUYOL 73’

Semi-Finals

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Durban

SPAIN advanced to their first ever World Cup Final by beating Germany 1-0.

The match itself was almost chess-like, with both teams trying to outmanoeuvre the other. The first half lacked chances, with Spain’s Carles Puyol having the best – heading the ball over the bar from a corner. Spain themselves seemed easy with the ball, while Germany looked content to let Spain have the ball as they waited to pounce.

The second half followed the same pattern until Spain started to have some good shots on goal. David Villa would have scored if he was a couple of inches taller when the ball raced across the goal mouth. But with 17 minutes left, Puyol got his header from a corner technique spot on and scored. Try as they might, Germany just couldn’t get through the Spanish back line for the rest of the match.

Zakumi: “So there we have it, a Netherlands vs. Spain Final. We will defiantly have a new winner of the World Cup on Sunday night.”

P92: “And in charge of the Final will be Englishman Howard Webb. He has been the best ref of these finals by miles.”

Zakumi: “So you’ll be wearing your England shirt for the Final?”

P92: “You bet.”

 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

3

Netherlands

Diego FORLÁN 41’

Maximiliano PEREIRA 90+2’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)

Giovanni VAN BRONCKHORST 18’

Wesley SNEIJDER 70’

Arjen ROBBEN 73’*

Semi-Finals

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Cape Town

THE NETHERLANDS was painted orange last night as the Dutch football team progressed to its third World Cup Final and first since 1978 in a match that swung one way and then the other.

The opening minutes were quite tense as neither side wanted to make a mistake. So Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst decided to smash the ball from long range to score a monster of a goal on 18 minutes.

It took Uruguay a little while to sort themselves out after this. They were given a few minutes thinking time when the Netherlands’ Demy De Zeeuw was kicked in the face whilst trying to prevent an over-head kick. Luckily it was the sponge they used to clean him up that came off the worst.

But this stoppage gave Uruguay some of the momentum back and as half-time neared, stand-in captain Diego Forlán scored the second long range goal of the game.

Uruguay continued to cause the Dutch problems in the early stages of the second half and looked the more likely to score. But in the 70th minute the Dutch took a 2-1 lead thanks to Wesley Sneijder. His seemingly limp shot on the edge of the Uruguay box took a deflection on its way and was almost touched by his team-mate Robin van Persie (who some people would say was just offside). If he had of touched the ball the goal wouldn’t have stood.

Karma is a bitch isn’t it Uruguay?

Just three minutes later Arjen Robben headed home to make it 3-1 Netherlands and crush Uruguay’s hopes. They did score in injury-time through Maxi Pereira but time was against them.

*The 2,200th World Cup finals goal.

Zakumi: “Now with the Netherlands in the Final and Germany or Spain to meet them in it, a European team will win the World Cup outside Europe for the very first time.”

P92: “Based on current form, Germany will beat the Dutch in the Final, but Netherlands vs. Spain would be epic. Neither side has won the World Cup before.”

Today’s game is:

  • Germany vs. Spain, BBC 1 19:30

SO here they are, by hook or by crock, the last four countries in this World Cup.

Uruguay

vs.

Netherlands

Germany

vs.

Spain

Uruguay and the Netherlands have only met once before in the World Cup finals back in 1974. The Dutch ran out 2-0 winners.

Germany will be looking to get revenge on Spain after they lost the Euro 2008 Final to them. They have played three World Cup finals matches. West Germany won 2-1 in 1966 and 1982, and unified Germany drew with Spain 1-1 in 1994.

Zakumi: “It’s hard to pick a winner out of these four.”

P92: “I don’t think Uruguay will win, and I reckon the Final will be Netherlands vs. Germany.”

Zakumi: “So a replay of 1974 them.”

P92: “Yep.”

Today’s game is:

  • Uruguay vs. Netherlands, ITV 19:30
 

 

Argentina

0

vs.

4

Germany

MotM = Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER (GER)

Thomas MÜLLER 3’

Miroslav KLOSE 68’ 89’

Arne FRIEDRICH 74’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Cape Town

GERMANY utterly destroyed much fancied Argentina to reach the last four for the 12th time in their history.

They threw down the gauntlet after just three minutes when Thomas Müller headed home from a free kick. Argentina went up a couple of gears and started to apply some pressure. But this was only after Miroslav Klose put an easy (for him) chance over the bar. Argentina did get the ball in the net in the first half, but it was rightly (this time) ruled out for offside.

In first 20 minutes of the second half you got a sense that an Argentina goal was coming at any moment. But two tap-ins in six minutes from Klose and Arne Friedrich stunned the watching millions as Germany went 3-0 up, ripping the soul out of Argentina.

Klose scored his second of the game late on after a fantastic counter attack, to take his World Cup finals tally to 14.

Zakumi: “This puts him joint-second on the all time list with fellow German Gerd Müller.”

P92: “And just one behind the all time leading scorer, Ronaldo of Brazil.”

 

 

Paraguay

0

vs.

1

Spain

MotM = Andrés INIESTA (ESP)

David VILLA 83’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Carlos BATRES (GUA)

Johannesburg – JEP

THE reigning European Champions (Spain) made it into the last four for the first time since 1950 after a narrow win over Paraguay.

The game was a stalemate for the first hour, with Paraguay content to hold Spain who in turn just couldn’t break the South Americans down. Paraguay’s Nelson Valdez did get the ball in the Spanish net in the first half but his effort was ruled out because his team-mate Óscar Cardozo was offside.

But a rather dull game was lit up on the hour mark when Paraguay were awarded a penalty. Cardozo, the man who’s penalty knocked-out Japan stepped up to take what was now the most important kick of his career. But Spain’s captain, Iker Casillas caught the spot-kick.

Spain immediately went up the other end of the field and they were given a penalty. So, up stepped XABI ALONSO who scored from 12yds and put his side in the lead. However the referee told him he had to take it again because some of his team-mates had run into the penalty area before he kicked the ball.

ALONSO re-composed himself and took the penalty again, only to see it saved by Paraguay’s captain Justo Villar. The ball rebounded off of him and there was a mass melee for the ball in which Spain’s Cesc Fábregas was taken out by Villar. This was yet another penalty, but this time the ref didn’t give it.

TV viewers were then shown a replay of Cardozo’s saved penalty. It showed Spanish players running into the box before he had kicked the ball, but he didn’t get to retake his penalty. Strange that.

Spain slowly started to wind up through the gears in the latter half of the game. They didn’t want to go to extra-time.

With just seven minutes to go, Spain’s PEDRO had a shot at goal which rebounded off the post…and straight into the path of the in-form David Villa. He smashed the ball at the goal and his shot hit both posts and went in. This was his fifth goal of this World Cup, and puts him at the top of the scoring charts.

Paraguay almost scored near the end, but Casillas again made the save.

Zakumi: “Did your Grandparents enjoy the match?”

P92: “They liked the chaos of the penalties, but I’d rather they saw the Argentina vs. Germany game instead.”

 

 

Netherlands

2

vs.

1

Brazil

Wesley SNEIJDER 53′ 68’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)

ROBINHO 10’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JAP)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

 THE NETHERLANDS made it into their first World Cup Semi-Final since 1998 after coming from behind to beat five-times World Champions Brazil.

Brazil raced out of the starting blocks and cut the Dutch open. They had a goal disallowed after eight minutes, but just two minutes later ROBINHO ran through a gap in the Dutch defence and scored. KAKÁ almost made it 2-0 after 30 minutes, but a monster save from Maarten Stekelenburg kept his side in the game.

The Dutch came alive in the second half (once again) thanks to the efforts of ‘Man of the Match’ Wesley Sneijder. He put a long ball into the Brazilian box and keeper JÚLIO CÉSAR missed the ball as it came off of FELIPE MELO’s head. Sneijder was given the goal by F.I.F.A.

Sneijder scored his second goal 15 minutes later. Dirk Kuyt flicked the ball on from an Arjen Robben corner and Sneijder headed home to put the Netherlands 2-1 up with just over 20 minutes to play.

Brazil’s fight back had the wind taken out of it when FELIPE MELO stamped on Arjen Robben and was sent straight off.

More chances came to either side but none were taken, and Port Elizabeth is being painted orange as you read this.

Zakumi: “Brazil will now have to wait until they host the 2014 tournament for their next finals match.”

P92: “It is still possible to have a Netherlands vs. Germany final. They hate each other.”

Zakumi: “The exact same thing can be said for Uruguay and Argentina.”

P92: “At the moment yes.”

 

 

Uruguay

1

vs.(AET)

1

Ghana

Diego FORLÁN 55’

MotM = Diego FORLÁN (URU)

Sulley MUNTARI 45+2’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Olegário BENQUERENÇA (POR)

Johannesburg – JSC

FORMER double World Champions Uruguay made it into their first World Cup Semi-Final since 1970 after they beat the last remaining African team, Ghana, in a highly eventful match.

Uruguay dominated the first 30 minutes of the match, and it was only then that Ghana decided to wake up. They created some good chances for themselves, but in injury time at the end of the first half it looked like it would be 0-0.

Until Sulley Muntari unleashed a curling 35yd strike which found the back of the Uruguayan net.

The South American side started the second half like a wounded animal. Just ten minutes after the restart Diego Forlán smashed his free kick straight into the Ghana goal. 1-1.

Uruguay continued to have all of the best of the second half chances but they failed to take any of them, so we went to extra-time.

The first 20 minutes of extra-time went by with no real chances that stick in the mind, but from then on Ghana suddenly found another gear and went for the win.

In the very last minute of extra-time Ghana took a free kick on the edge of the box. Stephen Appiah’s shot was blocked by Luis Suárez on the line, and then he blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s shot with his hands when he could easily have used his head. He was sent straight off.

The resulting penalty was taken by twice spot-kick scorer in this World Cup, Asamoah Gyan. It was the 121st minute of the match and would be the last kick of the match. He could send an African team into the last four of a World Cup for the first time, and on African soil as well. But he went for power instead of placement and hit the bar. And we went to penalties.

Uruguay

4

P.S.O.

2

Ghana

Diego FORLÁN

1

Asamoah GYAN

Mauricio VICTORINO

2

Stephen APPIAH

Andrés SCOTTI

3

X

John MENSAH

Maximiliano PEREIRA

X

4

X

Dominic ADIYIAH

Sebastián ABREU

5

ASAMOAH GYAN showed great courage by taking Ghana’s first penalty and scoring it to level the shootout at 1-1. John Mensah saw his penalty saved, Maximiliano Pereira blasted his over, and Dominic Adiyiah had his vital penalty saved.

Sebastián Abreu won the match with a cheeky chip, and Uruguay set up a Semi-Final with the Netherlands.

Zakumi: “Fantastic game, but why did Gyan go for power!”

P92: “Heat of the moment.”

Today’s games are:

  • Argentina vs. Germany, BBC 1 15:00
  • Paraguay vs. Spain, BBC 1 19:30 

THIS is how the line-up for the Quarter-Finals of the 2010 World Cup.

Netherlands

vs.

Brazil

Uruguay

vs.

Ghana

Argentina

vs.

Germany

Paraguay

vs.

Spain

 

Netherlands and Brazil have played each other three times in the World Cup. The Dutch won 2-0 in 1974, Brazil won 3-2 in 1994, and again 4:2 on penalties after the scores were level at 1-1 A.E.T. in 1998.

Uruguay have never played Ghana in the World Cup finals. In fact they have never ever met in an international match.

Argentina and Germany have played five games against one another at the World Cup finals. In 1958 West Germany won 3-1 and in 1966 they played out a 0-0 draw. In 1986 and 1990 they contested the Final itself. Argentina won in ’86 3-2, while West Germany took the ’90 title with a 1-0 win. The latter final saw the first two Final red cards (both for Argentina) in what is regarded as the worst-ever final. A unified Germany beat Argentina 4:2 on penalties (1-1 A.E.T.) four years ago in Berlin. The game finished in a riot and saw unused Argentine substitute Leandro Cufré sent off after the match was over.

Paraguay and Spain have met twice before. In 1998 they played out a 0-0 draw, and in 2002 Spain won 3-1.

Zakumi: “Argentina vs. Germany is defiantly tie of the round.”

P92: “Hopefully everything that matters will be done on the pitch this time, and we’ll have no bad decisions as well.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Netherlands vs. Brazil, ITV 15:00
  • Uruguay vs. Ghana, ITV 19:30
 

 

Paraguay

0

vs.(AET)

0

Japan

MotM = Keisuke HONDA (JAP)

Last 16

Ref = Frank DE BLEECKERE (BEL)

Tshwane / Pretoria

NEITHER side had previously made it into the last eight of a World Cup before this game, and they were both very nervous.

The fear of losing outweighed the will to win, and the game lacked chances all the way through. The best of these sparse chances came at around 20 minutes in. Paraguay had a shot bundled off the line, then Japan hit the bar with the next attack and that was it.

So the match meandered towards the first Penalty Shootout in this World Cup.

Paraguay

5

P.S.O.

3

Japan

Édgar BARRETO

1

Yasuhito ENDŌ

Lucas BARRIOS

2

Makoto HASEBE

Cristian RIVEROS

3

X

Yūichi KOMANO

Nelson VALDEZ

4

Keisuke HONDA

Óscar CARDOZO

5

JAPAN’S Yūichi Komano hit the bar with the sixth penalty of the shootout after all the others had been scored, handing the advantage to Paraguay. The next two penalties were scored as well, and it was left to Óscar Cardozo to score the winner and send Paraguay into the last eight for the very first time.

Zakumi: “It’s a good thing we have penalties now. I don’t think I could have taken watching the replay.”

P92: “It was a dull game, but remember both sides had such a lot to lose.”  

 

 

Spain

1

vs.

0

Portugal

David VILLA 63’

MotM = XAVI (ESP)

Last 16

Ref = Héctor BALDASSI (ARG)

Cape Town

THIS was the first ever Iberian derby to take place in the World Cup finals.

The first half saw both sides trying to pull each other out of position and then catch them out in defence. Portugal looked the more comfortable and settled side in the first 45 minutes, with Spain’s keeper and capitan Iker Casillas giving a poor first half performance compared to his own extremely high standards, and getting lucky on a few occasions.

The second half started much the same, and the European Champions (Spain) seemed to have run out of ideas. But they came close to scoring on the hour mark and just three minutes later David Villa toe-poked the ball over Portugal’s keeper EDUARDO after he stopped his first shot.

Portugal’s RICARDO COSTA was sent off near the end of the match. I think he was yet another victim of a player conning the referee, and personally I’m getting sick of it.

Zakumi: “Well that’s it for the Last 16, and we get a couple of days off.”

P92: “I’ll have the Quarter-Final line-ups for you tomorrow.”