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Bob Weiser started playing soccer as a youth and has been following the sport ever since, dating back to days of watching the Bundesliga on PBS on Saturday afternoons.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spain 1, Holland 0

The 2010 World Cup final seemed destined for penalty kicks. Still scoreless, time winding down before Andres Iniesta gave Spain the only goal it would need to win the World Cup for the first time in the nation's history.

Before the goal, however, the game was a physical battle that featured a record number of yellow cards - and one pivotal red to Holland's John Heitinga in the 109th minute. Whether or not the cards against Heitinga were warranted, the game was filled with hard fouls and the Dutch got away with what should have been a red card earlier when Nigel De Jong stuck his studs in Xabi Alonso's chest.

Frankly, the Dutch have no one to blame but themselves for the loss. There were plenty of opportunities for both teams to score. Spain had chances and the Dutch had chances. Arjen Robben could have easily had two goals if not for some outstanding saves by Golden Glove winner Iker Casillas.

The Dutch had their share of possession in the match - seemingly a lot more than Germany had against Spain in the semifinals. They were a fingertip away from Maarten Stekelenburg stopping that game-winner as well.

In the end, it was a great tournament with a back-and-forth final where Spain ended its drought and Holland lost in the final for the third time, the first since 1978.

Diego Forlan of Uruguay was deserving of the Golden Ball. I wouldn't have voted for him, because no matter how hurt he was, he should have been able to finish the semifinal loss. I was just as surprised to see David Villa come off for Fernando Torres in the final, though. Not sure I'll ever understand the substitution patterns of these coaches.

See you in Rio in four years.


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