Spain beat Holland to win World Cup

July 12, 2010 12:00 am

, JOHANNESBURG, Jul 11 – Spain won the World Cup for the first time on Sunday, Andres Iniesta netting in extra-time to see off Holland 1-0 in Johannesburg and hand the Dutch their third final loss.

With just four minutes of extra-time remaining, substitute Fernando Torres slid over a cross from the left which was partially cleared as far as Cesc Fabregas and his pass found Iniesta lurking in the area.

The Barcelona star promptly set his sights and fired past Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Five minutes earlier, the Dutch were down to 10 men when referee Howard Webb red-carded John Heitinga for a foul on Iniesta.

A niggly game saw a proliferation of yellow cards and missed chances at both ends – most notably in the first period of extra-time when Spanish substitute Fabregas raced onto a pass from Iniesta only to see Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg block his shot.

Then fellow substitute Jesus Navas looked odds on to score but his shot deflected off Giovanni van Bronckhorst and hit the side-netting.

In the Spanish Capital, a thunderous roar erupted and fans danced in the streets and chanted "Viva Espana!" as the country\’s first ever World Cup trophy sparked a nationwide fiesta.

The centre of the capital was a sea of the red and gold national colours as Spain celebrated its agonising extra-time win over Holland.

The deafening sounds of cheering, klazons, firecrackers and cars horns rang out across the city as the World Cup\’s perennial underachievers won the trophy in their first appearance in the final.

In temperatures of 37 C (99 F), more than 150,000 supporters watched the match on massive screens in a giant "fan park" in a one-kilometre (half-mile) stretch of the city\’s main thoroughfare.

Others crammed into bars or stayed home for the match, which left the country paralysed Sunday evening.

Many were wrapped in the Spanish flag, wore the red team shirts or red wigs, or had their faces painted red and gold.


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