No One's Stealing This World Cup Final, Except Maybe Howard Webb

The pregame for the World Cup final included a spirited attempt to either steal the World Cup trophy, or put a hat on it, or both.

It did not end well.

During the first half, though, Howard Webb threatened to steal the spotlight in the sport's most important game with a preponderance of whistles for fouls and five yellow cards, including one absolutely awful missed red, which you can see in handy animated GIF form here.

I'm not sure on what planet a studs-up kick to the chest isn't worthy of a red card, but Nigel de Jong and Webb are clearly from it.

As for the rest of the 45 minutes, testy is a fitting descriptor. With much of the game spent tussling over possession in midfield and few shots on goal to show for it—an early header was Spain's best shot, and Arjen Robben's ground-bound left-footer in stoppage time may have been the best chance for the Dutch—this final has the sense of a game yet to hit full throttle.

For the lithe, conditioned, tireless Spaniards, that has to bode well; they've won their last four matches despite heading into halftime without a tally.

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.