July 11th, 2010
05:09 PM ET

Iniesta's extra-time goal gives Spain its first World Cup

Spain won its first World Cup title on Sunday, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 with an extra-time goal by Andres Iniesta in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The goal in the 116th minute came about seven minutes after the Netherlands went down to 10 men, thanks to a red card given to Dutch defender John Heitinga.

The winning move started with a misdirected cross from Spanish forward Fernando Torres. A Dutch defender tried to clear it, but the ball came to Spain's Cesc Fabregas, who sent it to Iniesta.

Iniesta volleyed it across the body of Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who put a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it from going into the net.

The goal capped a physical match that saw 13 yellow cards and Heitinga's red card. Eight of the yellows went to the Dutch.

Heitinga, who received a yellow card earlier, was sent off for a second yellow in the 109th minute after tugging Iniesta down just outside the box. That foul led to a free kick that Spain's Xavi put over the bar.

Both sides had great chances to go ahead in the second half. Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben had only Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas to beat after a fine delivery from Wesley Sneijder in the 62nd minute, but Casillas deflected Robben's shot with his right foot, sending the ball inches wide of goal.

Spain's David Villa had a point-blank shot saved in the 69th minute, and his teammate Sergio Ramos had a free header that went over the bar about eight minutes later.

Robben had another chance in the 83rd minute, when he beat two Spanish defenders to a ball that a teammate had headed to him on a counterattack, but Casillas took it from his feet. Robben felt the defenders had fouled him and argued with the referee, who gave him a yellow card for dissent.

The Netherlands, like Spain, was trying to claim its first World Cup. The Dutch have now lost three World Cup final matches; the other two were in 1974 and 1978.

Read the CNN.com story

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Filed under: South Africa • Spain • Sports • The Netherlands • World
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Theresa

    WooHoo!! Congratulations to Spain!!!

    July 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip Tortora

    With the 2010 World Cup in South Africa garnering immense attention from all corners of the globe, including here in the United States where soccer usually attracts a cold shoulder, the time has come for the world’s most popular sporting event to be played every two years.

    http://philiptortora.blogspot.com/2010/06/world-cup-should-be-played-every-two.html

    July 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |