Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spain Set up World Cup Final against Netherlands

Spain defeated Germany 1-0 in the semi final to reach the World Cup 2010 final where they would now face Netherlands on 11 July in Johannesburg. Carles Puyols scored the winner for Spain in the second half. This is the first time, Spain is going to play in a World Cup Football final.

Spain dominated in the first half with the likes of David Villa, Iniesta, Xavi and Pedro threatening in the German defense. The Spaniards created at least two clear scoring opportunities. First, David Villa got German keeper Manuel Neuer in a one to one situation, but failed to slot it past the keeper in the post.

Then the second chance came when Carles Puyol headed an Iniesta cross in the box over the post. Germany got some rhythm back towards the end of the first half. They created their only opportunity in the first half during the injury time when Mesut Ozil found the Spanish keeper alone in the goal, but he was late to take the shot as he wanted to get closer before being successfully challenged by Sergio Ramos.

Spain continued their dominance in the second half too. Xabi Alonso had two long range shots at goal in the first five minutes of the second half. In the 58th minute, Spain missed a big scoring opportunity. First, Pedro’s long range shot was blocked by the German keeper, and after that David Villa failed to contact a cross from Iniesta. Just after five minutes, Sergio Ramos failed to make contact with a Xabi Alonso cross.

In the 69th minutes, Germany created a good chance against the run of play when Podolski’s cross fell to Kroos whose close range shot was blocked by the Spanish keeper successfully.

Finally, Spain got the breakthrough when Carles Puyol scored through an excellent header in the 73rd minute. The goal was like a wake up call for the Germans as they started attacking more thereafter.

As a result, Spain also had some chances from the counter attacks. In fact, Spain could have doubled the lead in the 82nd minute, had Pedro not acted selfishly. He had two German players around, while Torres was alone inside the box, but still he wanted to score himself, in stead of passing it to Torres.

In the last 10 minutes, both sides had some good chances, but there was no more goal in the match.

Overall, Spain had dominating presence in the midfield where they controlled throughout the match. Spanish defense was solid and the players like Ozil, Klose found it hard to break.

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