World Cup Recap - Netherlands vs. Spain|
(Sunday, July 11th)
Final Score: Spain 1, Netherlands 0
Johannesburg, South Africa (Sports Network) - Andres Iniesta scored in the
116th minute to help Spain claim its first FIFA World Cup title with a 1-0 win
over the Netherlands at Soccer City Stadium on Sunday.
Just minutes after Dutch defender John Heitinga was sent off for receiving his
second yellow card, substitute Cesc Fabregas picked up the ball near the top
of the penalty area and lofted it into the box for Iniesta to smash past
goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
"It's hard to put into words how it feels to win a World Cup," Iniesta said.
"To win it that way was amazing. It didn't come easy and I still can't believe
it. I'm just happy I managed to do my bit and score such an important goal for
the national side. It's a game to remember and to celebrate. All we want to do
now is go home and enjoy it."
With the win, Spain becomes the eighth different nation to win the World Cup,
while the Netherlands has now appeared in three World Cup finals without a
"We're incredibly disappointed," Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong said.
"We gave it our best shot, but it wasn't to be."
Spain threatened a few times in the early going and nearly took the lead
inside of five minutes from a free kick as Sergio Ramos turned a powerful
header on goal from the middle of the penalty area that Stekelenburg did well
David Villa then had a volley go close from a Xabi Alonso cross, while Arjen
Robben's low shot in first-half stoppage time needed to be pushed past the
post by Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Xavi tried to find the upper-right corner of the net with a free kick that
sailed wide in the 55th minute, but the best chance of the match came seven
Wesley Sneijder played a well-weighted through ball into the path of Robben,
who dashed past the Spanish defense and was left alone with the goalkeeper.
However, his shot clipped the foot of Casillas and was deflected narrowly
Spain then had two good opportunities in a five-minute span as Heitinga made a
mess of a low cross from Spain's Jesus Navas, allowing Villa to get off a shot
from a few yards out that was somehow deflected over the crossbar by
The second chance came from a corner kick and was squandered by Ramos, who
sent a free header over the net from six yards.
Five minutes into extra time Fabregas was given a golden chance to put Spain
in front when Iniesta put him through on goal, but he shot into the legs of
Navas then had a deflected effort hit the outside of the net before the
Netherlands was reduced to 10 men in the 109th minute when Heitinga picked up
a second yellow card for a foul on Iniesta.
And the winning goal arrived seven minutes later as Fabregas set up Iniesta
for a shot from 10 yards that flew past the goalie.
07/11 22:22:07 ET