Spain beats Netherlands 1-0 for World Cup
(AP) - Spain rules the soccer world, winning theWorld Cup at long, long last.
It came after an exhausting 1-0 victory in extra time over theNetherlands on Sunday. Two years after winning the European title,the stylish Spaniards did even better.
This was a physical test of attrition that sometimes turneddirty - a finals-record 11 yellow cards were handed out and theDutch finished with 10 men. In the end, it was Andres Iniestabreaking free in the penalty area, taking a pass from Cesc Fabregasand putting a right-footed shot from 8 yards just past theoutstretched arms of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
For the Dutch and their legions of orange-clad fans wearingeverything from jerseys to jumpsuits to clown gear to pajamas, itwas yet another crushing disappointment.
Their first World Cup title tantalizingly within reach, theyfailed in the final for the third time. This one might have beenthe most bitter because, unlike in 1974 and 1978, the Netherlandswas unbeaten not only in this tournament, but in qualifying for thefirst World Cup staged in South Africa.
Soccer City was soaked in Oranje, from the seats painted in thathue throughout the stadium to pretty much everyone seated in them.Unlike when they lost to hosts West Germany and Argentina inprevious finals, the Dutch were something of a home team this time.
The Spaniards, though, were the winners.
They had pockets of supporters, too, to be sure, dressed in redand scattered around the stadium. They might have been theminority, but when the final whistle blew, they were tooting theirvuvuzelas loudest in tribute to their champions.