By FRANCO PANIZO
It took 73 minutes, but Carles Puyol's goal against Germany on Wednesday was enough to see Spain do something it had never done before: reach the World Cup final.
Puyol notched the only goal of the semifinal match, scoring off a thunderous diving header in the 73rd minute. The 1-0 result was the same scoreline that Spain defeated the Germans by two years ago in the European Championship final.
More importantly, the win at Durban Stadium advanced Spain to its first World Cup final, where it will face the Netherlands in a match that will crown a first-ever champion at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
Germany, which struggled to create chances and maintain possession for stretches, will have to try and settle for third place on Saturday just as it did four years ago. Germany will face Uruguay in the Third Place match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of Spain's 1-0 victory? Disappointed by the Germans' showing? Do you see Spain winning it all against the Dutch?
Share your thoughts below.
Bow down and kiss my boots…you novice.
Consistently throughout the tournament, little Spanish players fall to the ground when they are challenged. Their style of play is slow, plodding, boring, and pointless. They’ve been eeking out 1-0 wins. I’d like to see a team get physical with them without the ref bailing them out with cheap fouls.
What diving are you talking about in the game against Germany ?? That was one of the most free flowing games I have watched this WC. This game had probably the fewest fouls of any kind this whole tournament. I don’t understand how anyone thinks it was boring either. Spain not only kept good possession but they had numerous goal scoring opportunities that Germany was able to stop. The game was brilliant and I think the better team won !!
“Germany are a good young side who weren’t mentally focussed or aggressive enough to beat a quality Spanish side.”
Right on! You watch the 50/50 balls and Spain was winning most of them, going after them with passion. I think having Mueller playing would have made a big difference, and I’m impressed with how well Germany did. But Spain looked like they wanted to win more, and their pass work is amazing to watch.
The final should be one for the ages!
I love watching Spain. The only thing I hate is Iniesta on the 18 — he can’t figure out what to do. But other than that, they are a joy to watch and the definition of intelligent, beautiful, controlling soccer.
No, but the name Kaiser would have.
I’m sorry, but the USA and Switzerland strategy was what it was because the players aren’t very good compared to Spain…
Germany has too much talent to have to play that way and should have just gone straight at them from the start.
It’s easy to make passes when they are 1-2 yards around you all the time…
This sums it up the best I’ve ever seen. Bravo
Please, what diving? Furnish our minds with an example. Spain is everything great about soccer; a team collectively playing brilliantly, not giving the ball away cheaply; class at every position.
I enjoy watching Spain, but I don’t think it’s quite right to say they dominated because they had a lot of problems creating particularly dangerous chances. It was pretty Arsenal-like how much they bogged down once they got to the German box. Too many long range shots that weren’t ever going in. I still think Spain are best with Fabregas.
I wish the game was played again with Mueller, he adds so much to the German counter attack it would have been a different game. I was most impressed with the Spanish defense, even without the goal Puyol had a monster of a game.
Xavi connected 92 passes out of 106. As a neutral, it was exquisite.
The Spanish game is everything we Americans hate about soccer – little sh!ts dinking the ball around and diving every time someone gets near them. Any red-blooded American would floor one of those Spanish twits when they pull that crap. I’m rooting for the Dutch on Sunday.
Watching Spain play is like going to an art museum – it’s impressive and it’s beautiful and I’m bored after half an hour. I want passion and I want drama; I wanted Germany to win.
Spain deserved it. They dominated Germany the whole game.
We bow to your imminent wisdom powerful IDman. You are such a “smart aficionado” of the game. Get over yourself!!!
Germany lost to Serbia, because of a card happy ref, and still controlled the play with 10 men. And after they had their goal, they didn’t need to pour it on against Ghana. Germany are a good young side who weren’t mentally focussed or aggressive enough to beat a quality Spanish side. And that “pure class” side should have lost to Paraguay.
Absolutely. And Spain’s collective heart shows whenever they lose possession. When EVERY OTHER TEAM loses possession, they immediately try to reestablish their lines and organization so that they don’t get beaten on the break. By contrast, Spain immediately pressure–collectively–to get the ball back. That’s really hard to do, but it has the great effect of never allowing their opponents to get into any kind of rhythm offensively. Schweinsteiger is a great player, but Spain wouldn’t give him the same kind of time that a disorganized Argentine side did, and they pretty much took him out of the game.
We shall see.
Daniel, I agree that Spain dominated Germany today (I’ve been saying that all along). What I am saying is that Germany is a far better team than what they showed today, and I blame the approach that Low brought into the game.
Phil, said it well when he said they let Spain play thier tempo, rather than be more agressive and make more runs out of the midfield (something that was Germany’s strength in this tournament). Spain played a good game, and I am not trying to take anything away from them.
J – I am 1000% with you. I can’t stand watching this team.