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Devastating Spain have finally got into groove

india Updated: Jul 09, 2010 00:37 IST
Highlight Story

The dream ends for Germany and for Uruguay too. The World Cup final on Sunday will be contested by Spain and The Netherlands, who have come so close in the past, but always failed to lift the ultimate prize.

As neither nation has ever won the World Cup before, the players in whichever team wins, will be guaranteed immortality; they will be national heroes for the rest of their lives, they will be revered throughout history. It is difficult to overstate the enormity of the prize that awaits the winners, or the depth of despair and disappointment that will drown the team that finishes second.

I felt that Holland deserved their victory over Uruguay. They were cold and clinical, they did what they needed to do and, other than falling asleep during Forlan's equaliser, they always seemed in control.

Over the course of the event, the Dutch have grown in confidence, they have played better, and the return of Robben has been key. They faced and defeated favourites Brazil in a manner that will give them great belief, and they survived the nerves of a semifinal. Now, they stand at the doorway to destiny with one last challenge, one final opponent, remaining.

Their opponents, Spain, killed German dreams with a single stab to the heart, not from Villa or from Torres, but from defender Puyol who crashed unmarked through the defence to power home a header in the 73rd minute. In earlier games, Spain have sparked but never really caught fire.

Against Germany, they dominated possession, their passing and movement was exceptional, and they shut out most of the German counter-attacks.

Had Pedro squared the ball to Torres late in the second-half, perhaps he would have killed the game then and there and resurrected his form. Spain at times threatened to tear Germany to pieces but good approach work often fell apart with the final pass.

Germany struggled for possession and space. They were shut down all over the pitch and were never able to engage in the devastating attacking play that had destroyed England and Argentina. Spain go through and deservedly so.The dream ends for Germany and for Uruguay too. The World Cup final on Sunday will be contested by Spain and The Netherlands, who have come so close in the past, but always failed to lift the ultimate prize.

As neither nation has ever won the World Cup before, the players in whichever team wins, will be guaranteed immortality; they will be national heroes for the rest of their lives, they will be revered throughout history. It is difficult to overstate the enormity of the prize that awaits the winners, or the depth of despair and disappointment that will drown the team that finishes second.

I felt that Holland deserved their victory over Uruguay. They were cold and clinical, they did what they needed to do and, other than falling asleep during Forlan's equaliser, they always seemed in control.

Over the course of the event, the Dutch have grown in confidence, they have played better, and the return of Robben has been key. They faced and defeated favourites Brazil in a manner that will give them great belief, and they survived the nerves of a semifinal. Now, they stand at the doorway to destiny with one last challenge, one final opponent, remaining.

Their opponents, Spain, killed German dreams with a single stab to the heart, not from Villa or from Torres, but from defender Puyol who crashed unmarked through the defence to power home a header in the 73rd minute. In earlier games, Spain have sparked but never really caught fire.

Against Germany, they dominated possession, their passing and movement was exceptional, and they shut out most of the German counter-attacks.

Had Pedro squared the ball to Torres late in the second-half, perhaps he would have killed the game then and there and resurrected his form. Spain at times threatened to tear Germany to pieces but good approach work often fell apart with the final pass.

Germany struggled for possession and space. They were shut down all over the pitch and were never able to engage in the devastating attacking play that had destroyed England and Argentina. Spain go through and deservedly so.

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