Soccer City (Johannesburg), Jul 12: Spain clobbered the Oranje in the all-European final showdown at the FIFA World Cup 2010 here on Sunday, Jul, to become football's eight world champions.
What has been an exciting tournament saw an ill-tempered end with a record 14 yellow cards coming off of the referee's pocket during the finals.
In 57th minute, English referee Howard Webb entered history books by booking Dutch defender John Heitinga accounting for the seventh yellow card of the match. The defender was later sent off when he was booked for the second time in the second half of extra-time to become the fourth player ever to be sent out of finals.
This is just the feeler of the heat and the tempers of the final world cup match. Netherlands, which has been consistently impressing in the tournament and even proved its mettle by defeating the mighty Brazil, seemed to have panicked.
Dutch put up a brute force to stave off the fiery Spinards. However, against Holland's acrimonious assault, Spain somehow still managed to mantain their poise.
It was second half of the extra time, over 110 minutes had passed by since the beginning of the game, the goal-less impasse remained. Just when the match threatend to enter penalty shoot-outs in just four minutes, Andres Iniesta drilled the ball home with a brilliant right-foot shot.
Spain had done it once again with the score 1-0 but this time this was it, it was the finals. They entered the World Cup hall of champions and that too with such style and brace. The team also became the first since France to hold the Euro Cup as well the World Cup.
There was jubilation, the players celebrated on the field while the fans resounded the stadium with their cheers and back home the game had united all in celebration.
On the other hand, the Dutch fans feel silent as the Oranje players the walked away desolate - their dreams of clinching the first World Cup shattered. As it has always been at the end of very match, the contradicting human emotions are overwhelming.
As for the Africans, this marked the end of a great world cup hosted by them. The tournament's success has not only shut Africa's critcs, but FIFA World Cup 2010 will also make a special entry in the history books for the special vibes this tournament in particular sent across the globe.
The beautiful game had also managed to unite and integrate the country, and the emotion of the whole nation was palpable when the stadium erupted in cheers and buzzing vuvuzelas on the appearance of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela at the closing ceremony.