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Spain vs. Netherlands in World Cup final

So our long World Cup journey comes to an end today with Spain vs. Netherlands for the title. A round of applause, please, for Steve Goff and Liz Clarke, who have tirelessly documented the event with aplomb for The Post.

The Dutch are going for their first title after coming up short in two championship game appearances in the 1970s, while the Spanish also are going for their first title after years of underachievement. Should be a good one.

Nelson Mandela is in the house to greet fans before the game.

Goff has his prediction and a poll here.

One last time: game stats here, in-game commentary here, shot chart here.

It's been fun.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  July 11, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Netherlands , Spain  
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Next: Spain vs. Netherlands: Spain is World Cup finals winner after 1-0 victory

Comments

Thanks for being involved, Matt.

Posted by: JkR- | July 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

See you in Brasil, Bonesteel~

Qualifying starts in 2011, though, who's in? Tahiti vs. Papua Guinea . .

OFC

The first round of qualifying for the OFC nations will double as the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia.

New Zealand Tahiti Vanuatu
Australia Fiji Solomon Islands
New Caledonia Papua New Guinea
Cook Islands, etc, etc.

Posted by: delantero | July 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

How how how how HOW did de Jong not see red for that?!?!??

HATE that guy.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 11, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The Dutch are being such punks, the neutral is forced to root for Spain.

Posted by: glfrazier | July 11, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Cant see the Dutch finishing the game with 11 players on the field. De Jong and Van Bommel in particular are thugs. I was pretty neutral at the start of the game but after seeing these 2 guys in action, I am definitely rooting for Spain. Would be an embarassement if the Dutch win!

Posted by: charlie015 | July 11, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, textbook straight red for De Jong. He only gets away with it because it's a World Cup Final.

Posted by: BooThisMan | July 11, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I have to say the Dutch were the better team in the 1st half. I know I am going to hammered for that but it is true. Better defending, more organised, more physical, and they adjusted better than the spanish. The Spanish side cannot adjust their game to the physical Dutch style. The spanish are also swarming the ref after every whistle to complain and cry, really shameful to see that.

Posted by: jjfooty | July 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The spanish are going to dive their way to a win. Disgusting!

Posted by: jjfooty | July 11, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@jfooty, you've got a right to your opinion, but I don't see it. Spain looks the better team, and when they go down, I'm seeing a Dutch boot, knee or hip in there every time.

Posted by: glfrazier | July 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Disgraceful game thus far, in the 83rd. Nothing pretty about it. Physical and dirty with the talent coming up short at key moments; Robben alone (great Casillas save!) and the missed Spanish header by Ramos (?).

Posted by: delantero | July 11, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The cleats to the chest by the Dutch player wasn't a red? Hard to believe.

Neither the Iniesta hip check later?

Posted by: delantero | July 11, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice judo leg sweep by Puyol. Props to Robben for staying on his feet.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 11, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Worse. Game. Ever.

Italy-France and Portugal-Greece were better than this.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | July 11, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Why do you rip off your shirt when you're wearing an undershirt with nothing written on it?

Posted by: benonthehill | July 11, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

My bad, missed the marker message on the first angle.

Meh, better Iniesta with the game-winner than Torres or Robben or some Dutch hack. And better a goal than penalties.

Posted by: benonthehill | July 11, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"And better a goal than penalties."
*************************************
Or "field goals" as the woman seated next to me at the bar said....

Congrats Spain! Now on to DCU and Seattle Thursday night!

Posted by: DCB23 | July 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

A pathetic display of diving by the Spanish. A more pathetic display by the referee for allowing it. Eventually it led to a man advantage, which ulitmately led to their victory. The Dutch are comically being viewed as thugs, by the fools who actually think this wasn't a divefest to victory.

Posted by: wcasey1 | July 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Only 47 months until the World Cup!

Posted by: BooThisMan | July 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@wcasey1 Yeah, the second yellow on Heitinga was suspect at best, but considering that De Jong should have gone off in the 25th minute with a red, I'm not crying any tears for Holland. Well-deserved championship for Spain, and all the haters in the world aren't taking it away from them.

Posted by: BooThisMan | July 11, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey GVB, cancel your retirement plans and maneuver your way to to DCU.

WE WIN TROPHIES!

Posted by: benonthehill | July 11, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

After seeing this game, Forlan should definitely win the golden ball award.

Posted by: JPHT | July 11, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I've been to war zones with less violence than that final. Absolutely disgraceful behavior by both teams. No new soccer fans were minted today.

Posted by: dcarmy | July 11, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Boo:
There was contact - a tug on the shoulder - and a foul. It was a professional foul, and fully deserving of a yellow.

I have no idea how De Jong's kung fu kick wasn't a red.

Posted by: mason08 | July 11, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The World Cup trophy is ridiculously small. It reminds me of the Stonehenge replica that gets lowered on to the stage in the hit comedy, Spinal Tap. I have a bigger trophy from winning the 3rd flight in a golf tournament when I was about 13 years old.

Posted by: randysbailin | July 11, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse


So I've watched a good chunk of the world cup. You know what's wrong with soccer right now? Not the low scores or the diving.

The problem is that it is way, way too rewarding to foul. Anytime a team gets in flow, makes a great play, all a defender has to do is grab a guy or make a sloppy challenge. A yellow card costs nothing, especially in the finals where there are no future games to miss. A free kick is rarely as good as the lost opportunity.

What if... players were out 5 minutes for a yellow card, then 10 for the team's second yellow card, 15, up to a max of 20 minutes?

What if... players could advance the ball 10 yards after a foul, 20 if it were in their own half?

What if... the ref could give a direct kick right outside the box for a minor hold in the box, without being forced to decide between giving one team a goal and ignoring the play?

Meh.

Posted by: Nissl | July 11, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

mason08: correct. No choice but to show the 2nd yellow, and all the same it was absolutely the right play by Heitinga.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 11, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Howard Webb the only man on the pitch who had a decent day. Holland were disgraceful, and I hardly think there was excessive diving by Spain.

Posted by: JkR- | July 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Missed the match due to other obligations. Not sure I'll catch the replay now. Looks like highlights will suffice. Bummer.

Can I get that Octopus to look at my stocks?

Posted by: inbetweenswims | July 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Ah, OK. On the replay I was watching the feet, and I saw Heitinga lunge and miss, but I didn't see the shoulder grab.

Posted by: BooThisMan | July 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Spain were the better team today, but they should have lost. Robben will forever be a goat for missing his two golden chances to win it for his country (the second chance being obviously much more difficult with Puyol all over his back).

If this game has taught young players one thing -- learn to play with both feet!

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | July 11, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Agreed De Jong should have had a straight red, but Iniesta should have had a yellow for simulation. Also, I noticed (and will watch more carefully to be sure it's true later) that dissension resulted in more and stiffer penalties for the Dutch. After a record-setting nine yellow cards in the first half, it appeared the ref was determined to send off a Dutch player.

Started out the day happy to see either team winning. Ended the day mad at them both, as well as at Webb. But mostly, I am disappointed in Iniesta, one of my two favorite players, for diving. Sad.

Posted by: ldmay | July 11, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I've only seen Iniesta a handful of times despite his reputation as one of the top players worldwide. ndeniable, he has otherworldly skill and tenacity. Even so, after today, I have no desire to see him play ever again.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 11, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@Nissi:

Actually, fouls generally are punished much more harshly today than in the past. There is the persistent infringement rule, where numerous minor fouls, either committed by the same player or against the same player, draw cards.

The bogeys indeed still are diving, low scores, poor refereeing, and poor sportsmanship generally (especially the constant complaining, which the two finalists today have raised to an art form).

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 11, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Great to see Liz Clarke's giant front (Sports) page article about how poor South Africans are not benefiting financially enough from the World Cup—as if we have never seen this type of story before from any previous World Cups, Olympics or even US Sports expansion franchises.

The story of today—with all the Americans that have been following this cup and all of the positive media coverage from every angle—should have been about Spain vs. Holland and the fanfare surrounding the match. You guys blew it, big time.

Goff, Liz? WTF? No excuse for that.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | July 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Soccer is okay. It is remarkably popular. Of course, most of the places soccer is so very popular do not have NFL Football or NBA Basketball, and one needs something to watch. There is about 26.22 miles of running for each point scored, but one adjusts. Sometimes it seems that a score of 1-0 could be 0-1, but for luck. Yet there is clearly skill involved. There is no high level play complexity, so a Telestrator is not required. Vocabulary is simple. No real “plays” to understand. So if there is no football, no basketball, no golf or tennis, no rugby or aussie rules, well soccer beats badminton and cricket hands down. Go FIFA.

Posted by: rakarlin | July 13, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

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