Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Spain outplayed Germany 1-0 yet again

Spain will play for the World Cup title for the very first time, thanks to Carles Puyol’s goal on a powerful header in the second half Wednesday night. The 1-0 victory was the same score as the European Championship final two years ago, which Spain won to end a 44-year major title drought. Spain has been the best team in Europe — all the world, really — for much of the last four years. It’s lost all of two games since November 2006, one a shocker to Switzerland in the group-stage opener. With all but two of the starting lineup playing for either Barcelona or Real Madrid, the Spanish play with a seamlessness and fluidity that’s almost intuitive. Granted, Spain hasn’t had its usual polish in South Africa, with injuries taking a big toll. Fernando Torres, normally so devastating offensively, is still struggling to recover from knee surgery in April, and was dropped from the starting lineup Wednesday night. Cesc Fabregas played all of two games before the World Cup after breaking a bone in his leg in March. But with the World Cup title so close — not to mention Queen Sofia on hand — the Spanish came through with their best game yet. They dominated possession the entire night, and they peppered Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer so many times that a goal seemed inevitable. Finally, they did.

Xavi swung a corner kick right into the scrum in front of Neuer in the 73rd minute. With fellow defender — and Barcelona teammate — Gerard Pique next to him and screening Neuer’s view, Puyol leaped up and got the ball. He gave one mighty swing of his head, his long curls flying. Neuer dove to his left, but had no chance to stop the ball as it thundered into the net. “From defense through to attack I think we played a great game”, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. “We’ve got another game in front of us, let’s see if we are able to control the ball. We’re in good shape physically, so let’s see if we can win.” Now for The Nethertlands... Go Spain!

1 comment:

  1. Viva Espagna! Good luck when you take on the Dutchies - remember how tough the Red Lancers were - I think the more orange variety Dutchmen will be just as hard!