JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11: The Spain team celebrate winning the World Cup as captain Iker Casillas (C) waves to fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11 2010 in Johannesburg South Africa. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Return Of The Spanish Armada: Andres Iniesta's 116th-Minute Goal Brings First World Cup To Spain

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World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Andres Iniesta Gives Spain First World Title

Andrés Iniesta scored the match's only goal four minutes from penalty kicks, beating Maartin Stekelenburg into the left of goal to give Spain their first world title, 1-0 over the Netherlands in Johannesburg.

Iniesta took a pass to the right of goal from Cesc Fàbregas, who had put his teammate behind a Dutch line caught pushing-up and out of their penalty area.  Stekelenburg came out to meet Iniesta and got a hand on the shot, but Iniesta's half volley from ten yards out gave Spain the lead.

By that time, the Netherlands was playing a man down, having John Heitinga sent-off in the 109th minute after the Dutch defender denied Iniesta a scoring opportunity.

It was the theme of the night for the Dutch, who accumulated nine bookings in 120 minutes.

While the fouls will overshadow the Dutch performance, the Netherlands had two chances to win the match in regulations, second half breakaways for Arjen Robben that were denied by Iker Casillas.  The first breakaway, created by a brilliant 30-yard ball from Wesley Sneijder that split Gerard Piqué and Joan Capdevila, let to a shot deflected wide by the Spanish captain.  The second chance, created by Robben taking advantage of a Carles Puyol error, was swallowed-up by Casillas when the Dutch attacker played a bad touch in an attempt to allude Piqué.

Robben's chances included, the match played out much like Spain's other knockout round contests.  Spain dominated possession, holding the ball for 63 percent of the match, yet could not finish their chances, starting with Sergio Ramos's fifth minute header from within the penalty area that was saved by Stekelenburg.  Spain had other good chances for Joan Capdevila, David Villa, and Cesc Fàbregas, with their best chance another header for Ramos, a chance off a corner from four yards out that the right back put over the bar.

Ultimately, Iniesta's goal insured the better team won the match, with Spain continuing a three year reign as the world's best team with their first World Cup. 


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Andres Iniesta 116th Minute Goal Gives Spain 1-0 Lead

Andres Iniesta has scored four minutes from the end of extra time, scoring with his right-footed shot from 14 yards out to given Spain a 1-0 lead to put the Spaniards on the verge of their first World Cup.

The Dutch, attempting to play Iniesta offside, allowed a ball to be looped over the back line, giving Iniesta time to collect the pass and beat Maarten Stekelenburg toward the Dutch goalie's far post.

Dutch defenders protested heavily that Iniesta was offside, earning Joris Mathijsen the Netherlands' ninth booking of the final.  Replays showed Iniesta was onside when the pass was played.

Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez had since picked-up yellow cards for Spain.

The match reamins 1-0, now in the 122nd minute.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Profession Foul Sees John Heitinga Sent Off In 109th Minute

One-two play from Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez saw the latter put a ball behind the defense, with Iniesta set to blow past the defense for a open chance on goal.  Central defender John Heitinga instead pulled Iniesta down at 19 yards out, earning a straight red card from Howard Webb.

Heitinga had already received a yellow card, early in the second half; however, with the denial of the scoring chance, Heitinga's second card goes down as a straight red, leaving the Dutch to play down a man for the final's last 11 minutes.

The Netherlands is out of substitutions and will play the rest of extra time with only three natural defenders.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Fernando Torres, On For David Villa, Is Del Bosque's Last Substitution

Just minutes after Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk used his final substitution, Spain coach Vincente del Bosque has made his final move.  Surprisingly, del Bosque has taken off David Villa and brought on Fernando Torres.

Torres was taken out of the starting team prior to the semifinal but is brought on in the 106th minute with the score 0-0.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Final Dutch Substitution Sees Edson Braafheid Brought On For Captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's career ends in the 105th minute of the World Cup final, the left back being subbed-off by coach Bert van Marwijk.  Bayern Munich's Edson Braafheid replaced the captain, who will retire from soccer after today's match.

Rafael van der Vaart was given the captain's armband as van Bronckhorst went off.

The substitution was van Marwijk's final move of the match. 

Van Bronckhorst had recently looked vulnerable to Spanish right win Jesus Navas, who had nearly scored just minutes prior to the substitution.

The match has now gone into the second half of extra time still drawn 0-0.


World Cup 2010 Final: Rafeal Van Der Vaart Brought On For Nigel De Jong

Bert van Marwijk's second substitution is another offensive-minded one.

After bringing on Eljero Elia in regulation for Dirk Kuyt, the Netherland's coach has taken off defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong and brought on Rafael van der Vaart.

Van der Vaart, who plays his club football at Real Madrid, is an attack-minded player.

The match remains scoreless in the 102nd minute.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Scoreless Through Regulation, Teams Set For Extra Time

Spain and the Netherlands are set for 30 minutes of extra time, having reached the end of 90 minutes drawn 0-0.

Arjen Robben had two breakaway chances for the Dutch, both snuffed-out by Iker Casillas.

Spain's best chances came from Sergio Ramos (header over the bar), David Villa (blocked from three yards out), and Joan Capdevila (missed the ball on a far-post attempt off a corner kick).

The second half started by continuing the yellow card theme of the first half, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst and John Heitinga picking up the Dutch's fifth and sixth cautions, Capdevila earning Spain's third.  Although Robben would earn a card for dissent in the 86th minute, the match calmed-down half-way through the period.

Spain held 63 percent of the possession in the first half, though they were out-shot by the Dutch 4-2 (shots on goal).

It is the second consecutive final to go to extra time, with France and Italy ending 1-1 at Germany 2006.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Cesc Fabregas Replaces Xabi Alonso

Vincente del Bosque, in the 87th minute, used his second substitution, bringing in Cesc Fabregas for Xabi Alonso.

The move is an attacking one, with Alonso, who normally sits deep in the Spanish formation, brought-off for somebody who more commonly plays higher in attack.

The match is still scoreless in the 89th minute.  If it remains drawn after second half stoppage time, a 30 minute extra period will be played.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Eljero Elia Subbed On For Dirk Kuyt

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk's first substitution is an attacking one, with Eljero Elia being brought on for left wing Dirk Kuyt.

Elia is viewed as a pure attacking option, while Kuyt is looked upon as more of a two-way player.

The move, made in the 71st minute, was made with the match still scoreless.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Vincente Del Bosque Makes First Substitution, Brings On Jesus Navas For Pedro

Spain coach Vincente del Bosque has made the first change of the match, bringing on Jesus Navas for Pedro.

Pedro has been quiet since the first twenty minutes of the match.  He comes off for Navas, who plays a somewhat traditional right wing role.

The match remains scoreless through 63 minutes.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Card-Filled First Half Ends Scoreless

Though the first half for the 2010 World Cup final ended scoreless, the first 45 minutes between the Netherlands and Spain was eventful, with referee Howard Webb going to his yellow card five times, all within the first 28 minutes.

Robin van Persie, committing his second card-able offense of the half, was yellow carded in the 15th minute for a sliding tackle on Spain left back Joan Capdevila.  Earlier in the match, van Persie apparently went through the back of Sergio Busquets' left knee, drawing a foul but avoiding a card, with such an offense normally dealt with leniently in a match's opening moments.

Minutes later, Carles Puyol was given the match's second yellow card for a sliding challenge on Arjen Robben as the Dutch winger tried to make his way toward the middle of the pitch.

Mark van Bommel, five minutes later, drew yellow after sliding through Andres Iniesta from behind, Minutes later, Sergio Ramos became the second Spaniard carded after taking down an attacker along the defense's right.

But the foul of the half came in the 28th minute when Nigel de Jong kicked Xabi Alonso in the chest while the teams contested a ball in midfield.  The Dutch midfielder's cleats went into his counterpart when a raised leg was run-into, Howard Webb judging the offense only yellow card worthy.

The fouls overshadowed a half that saw the Spanish nearly go up early, with Sergio Ramos's header on goal saved by Maarten Stekelenberg after the right back had drawn a foul along the right flank from Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Spain was then able to create chances through Ramos, who put a had ball through the six after beating Dirk Kuyt in the penalty area, and David Villa, whose left footed volley from six yards out at the far post when into the outside of the net.

The Netherlands' best chance came near first half stoppage time, when Arjen Robben put a ball near post from 18 yards out, a diving Iker Casillas steering the ball wide.

Spain held a 62-38 possession advantage for the half while the Dutch out-fouled Spain 12-8.


World Cup 2010 Final, Spain Vs. Netherlands: Starting Lineups

There are no surprises for either team in the starting lineups for today's World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.  Spain has gone with the same team that played against Germany on Wednesday while the Netherlands, with the return of the previously suspended Gregory van der Weil and Nigel de Jong, start the same, full-strength team that last appeared together against Slovakia in the Round of 16.

Netherlands Starting XI Spain Starting XI
G - Maarten Stekelenburg
LB - Giovanni van Bronckhorst
LCB - Joris Mathijsen
RCB - John Heitinga
RB - Gregory van der Wiel
DM - Nigel de Jong
DM - Mark vam Bommel
LW - Dirk Kuyt
AM - Wesley Sneijder
RW - Arjen Robben
F - Robin van Persie
G - Iker Casillas
LB - Joan Capdevila
LCB - Carles Puyol
RCB - Gerard Piqué
RB - Sergio Ramos
DM - Sergio Busquets
M - Xabi Alonso
M - Xavi Hernández
AM - Andres Iniesta
AM - Pedro
F - David Villa
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