Monday, July 12, 2010



Well, it is a pretty ugly World Cup final with many cards shown. 9 yellow cards (with a double for Hetinga) for the Dutch and 5 yellow cards for the Spanish. Robben came close twice to kill off Spain, with the second attempt pretty much unfair to him. Puyol should be carded or even sent off. Casillas was brilliant in both the one on one situations with Robben. Fabregas also had a fantastic chance which he missed in a one on one situation with Stekelenburg. Iniesta scored in the 117th minute to make a difference after John Hetinga was sent off with the second yellow card in the 109th minute.

Sergio Ramos was probably the best offensive player for the entire tournament. However, Spain's advantage was the ability to control the Dutch's most dangerous man, Wesley Sneijder. It would have been more helpful to Spain's offensive force if Fabregas started instead of Pedro. To be fair to Spain in regards to the Puyol pulling down Robben incident, some of the Netherlands challenges were extremely dangerous, some were qualified for red cards, especially the Nigel de Jong kick on Xabi Alonso's chest. If the heatbutt by Zidane was considered bad, then I am lost of words for the de Jong chest kick. I hope after this, Xabi Alonso will get advertisements more than Materazzi did with Nike.

Apart from that, Van Bommel, Sneijder and even Robben were qualified to achieve the red cards in the first half. The referee had been very forgiving, lenient and very reluctant to send off many players. The Spanish were mostly at the receiving end of the very ugly tackles. Sneijder was the only player apart from goalie, Stekelenburg, who was not booked. I thought the Dutch were playing rugby instead of football. It is so funny now that after the match, it is the Dutch team which comes out to complain about the referee, Webb. Webb had been too good to the Dutch, which was unfair to the Spanish. It should be the Spanish who should complain, not the Dutch. Some of the Spanish cards were given because they lost patience with the leniency of the referee for not giving bookings for some of the challenges. If Webb had been more stricter, the Dutch would have received up to 3 red cards by the end of the first half with their free flowing dangerous tackles.

Match Stats

Netherlands ----------------- Spain

13(5) Shots (on Goal) 19(6)
28 Fouls 19
6 Corner Kicks 8
7 Offsides 6
43% Time of Possession 57%
8 Yellow Cards 5
1 Red Cards 0
5 Saves 5

Yes Paul, you are right again! Incredible perfect predictions in this World Cup 2010 tournament! Spain should buy the octopus home from Germany! Spain become the first World Cup winner who lost the first match. They also become the first to score a very low total amount of goals.




(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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