FanDuel - WFBC

July 11, 2010

Spain win the World Cup: ...thanks to a goal in the second half of extra time from Andres Iniesta, after Holland had been reduced to ten men in an extremely ugly and foul-heavy game.

In other news, Paul the Octopus finishes the World Cup 8-for-8.

posted by boredom_08 to soccer at 05:53 PM - 46 comments

Spain just won the World Cup and the Unofficial World Cup on the same night.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:15 PM on July 11

Arjen Robben didn't just have to beat Casillas, he had to beat 36 years of history.

posted by owlhouse at 05:33 PM on July 11

That Robben dude really gave his all.

posted by NoMich at 05:37 PM on July 11

Congratulations, New Zealand!

The only undefeated team in the 2010 World Cup!

Also, how the HELL is this not a red card?!

Watching the Dutch player put up his arms as if to say "Nothing happened!" was my favourite part.

posted by grum@work at 06:53 PM on July 11

And to think everyone called van Bommel the villain. Nigel de Jong, take a bow.

posted by boredom_08 at 07:16 PM on July 11

I thought Nigel de Jong's kick was perfectly clean. In Tae Kwon Do, anyway.

Seriously, congratulations to New Zealand. And Spain.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:33 PM on July 11

If that was the first soccer match I watched, it would be the last. Spain is a deserving champion, and I'm glad that they were able to decide it before penalty kicks with a brilliant Iniesta goal. But that was not the beautiful game.

posted by rcade at 07:34 PM on July 11

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:45 PM on July 11

Dutch player put up his arms as if to say "Nothing happened!" was my favourite part.

I'd like to think it was more along the lines of, "oh, shit, didn't mean to do that."

Either way he could have easily been sent off.

On the other, both of Heitenga's cards were jokes.

The disastrous calling of a goal kick on such an easily spotted deflection off of the free kick was crucial. Goal kicks were awarded two other times after Casillas tipped the ball, as well.

Robben was fouled on his second one on one and that easily could have been red, yet not even a foul was drawn.

Wish the ref did a better job. It's harder to accept defeat when the frickin' ref plays such a hand in the outcome.

posted by tselson at 08:07 PM on July 11

"Robben was fouled on his second one on one and that easily could have been red, yet not even a foul was drawn."

The first time in his life Robben forgot to dive.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:09 PM on July 11

Kevin McCarra for the Graun: "An unbeaten run of 25 matches came to an end for Holland but it would have been better for their reputation had they lost earlier instead of tying themselves to this notoriety."

Diego Forlan rightly takes home the Golden Ball and a share of the Golden Boot; Spain takes home the cup and the record for the fewest goals scored to win it; the Dutch exorcise the ghosts of the 1970s in the worst way possible; Paul the Octopus is available for bookings... as is Howard Webb.

1990 seems to have put a curse on every final since. There were times during today's match where I wanted FIFA to retroactively award the cup to the Germans in reward for that playoff victory.

posted by etagloh at 08:09 PM on July 11

I stand corrected: Müller gets the Golden Boot as there's a tiebreaker on assists. Still, Forlan deserves his recognition.

posted by etagloh at 08:27 PM on July 11

In honor of the World Cup Final, here's one last moronic American journalist with an ill-informed sneer about soccer, Time movie critic Richard Corliss: "I don't get soccer. The spectacle of alpha males running around, falling down, pretending to be hurt and, all in all, achieving very little -- um, when I was in school, that was called recess."

posted by rcade at 08:44 PM on July 11

The first time in his life Robben forgot to dive.

QFT.

posted by grum@work at 10:07 PM on July 11

I can't believe it took until extra time for someone to get sent off. The way they started, I thought the first one would come down before the half.

The first time in his life Robben forgot to dive.

I'm not a fan of the diving inherent to international soccer, but this column raises an interesting perspective. I would counter, though, that the Germans do very little flopping, and it's hard to argue with their World Cup success.

posted by bender at 10:30 PM on July 11

I would counter, though, that the Germans do very little flopping, and it's hard to argue with their World Cup success.

Jurgen Klinsmenn

posted by grum@work at 10:49 PM on July 11

Ah, but that led to Klinsmann's delightful celebration of his first goal in the EPL.

posted by boredom_08 at 11:15 PM on July 11

There were times during today's match where I wanted FIFA to retroactively award the cup to the Germans in reward for that playoff victory.

Quite. My daughter has decided, in the last week, that she wants to play football; Germany v Uruguay was a great match to watch with her. Spain v Netherlands? Not so much. About the only benefit was to talk up the excellent goalkeeping and explain what yellow cards were.

Wish the ref did a better job. It's harder to accept defeat when the frickin' ref plays such a hand in the outcome.

Come off it. The Dutch were lucky not to be going into the second half with 9 or 10 men on the pitch.

posted by rodgerd at 05:26 AM on July 12

Agreed. The ref was busy, but not by his own doing. The Dutch played very aggressively in their challenges, and he had no choice but to book them. Maybe every call was not correct (you're right about the goal kicks), but it is not poor officiating that caused Netherlands to lose.

On another note, what was up with the poor finishing yesterday? Both teams had three or four golden opportunities to score--opportunities I don't expect to go wanting in the World Cup Final. Sure, there were some brilliant saves, but there were also wide open misses and shots over the bar.

posted by bender at 07:59 AM on July 12

During the match, the Dutch kicked the ball to the Spanish goalkeeper after an injury and it bounced over his head. If it had been on target it would have scored. The goalkeeper was staring daggers at the opposing player for this.

If it had scored, I've been wondering what would have happened next. Would the Dutch have celebrated? Would they have intentionally let in a goal themselves to balance out the gaffe?

posted by rcade at 10:27 AM on July 12

That happened in one of our matches a few seasons ago, when their keeper wasn't ready for the restart. So we let the other team walk it in from the resulting kick off. The only person who was annoyed was the ref, for some reason muttering darkly about goal difference and goals scored, and threatening to report us to the league. Sigh.

posted by owlhouse at 10:31 AM on July 12

If it had scored, I've been wondering what would have happened next. Would the Dutch have celebrated? Would they have intentionally let in a goal themselves to balance out the gaffe?

The British announcer on the CBC feed speculated that the Dutch would have let them score in the same manner.

"We almost had some excitement here."

My wife was confused when the Dutch then tapped the corner kick to the keeper, so I explained the series of events and why that happened.

posted by grum@work at 10:35 AM on July 12

Yeah - petulant from a ref in local game, but in the World Cup final? I imagine there was a fair chunk of money riding on last night's outcome, so while it would have been a triumph for sporting behaviour to have let the Spanish "have" a goal under those circumstances, bookies and punters the world over would have been livid.

posted by JJ at 10:36 AM on July 12

Also, I can't remember ever seeing a corner taken straight to the keeper in such a manner. Always the throw ins, but this was definitely a strange set of circumstances.

posted by Ricardo at 12:21 PM on July 12

Ray Ratto's World Cup postmortem includes something I agree with wholeheartedly: "In a month, the people who want American broadcasters doing the Cup matches will realize that ship sailed, and isn't coming back." Martin Tyler is terrific. I'm glad he's already got a deal to do the 2014 broadcast.

It's pretty amazing how understated the World Cup Final broadcast is compared to the big American sports championships. They play the game, some people talk about the game at the half, and they raise a trophy and shake hands at the end. No massive commercial-a-thon. No dumbing-down for casual fans. It's like watching the Super Bowl in 1970.

posted by rcade at 12:47 PM on July 12

Cruyff on Holland: "They were playing anti-football."

rcade/Ratto: "In a month, the people who want American broadcasters doing the Cup matches will realize that ship sailed, and isn't coming back."

It's a nice gig for Tyler -- and for Ian Darke, who managed to parlay the good fortune of calling the US-Algeria match with a style that endeared himself to Americans. They're both set to be back in 2014, on secondment from Sky. But I hope that's not entirely true, because there's a decentish window now for ESPN to get past the onion baggage and find a defining voice that's distinctly American in character: a little bit Anglo, a little bit Telemundo. (Yes, call upon the world's stars for the big tournaments -- from what I've heard from the motherland, Clarence Seedorf was a fine addition to the BBC's panel. But have a voice that's your own.)

I didn't have ESPN for the duration -- watching the matches online with ESPN3 -- and I got a hint that the studio team spent a wee bit more time doing tactical breakdowns in the inter-match 'World Cup Live' segments, where there wasn't as much time/commercial pressure. Was that just overoptimistic on my part?

Understated? I suppose so, though I've never really thought of it that way. The game is what it is, and the broadcasters more or less take it how it comes.

posted by etagloh at 01:27 PM on July 12

"I got a hint that the studio team spent a wee bit more time doing tactical breakdowns in the inter-match 'World Cup Live' segments, where there wasn't as much time/commercial pressure. Was that just overoptimistic on my part? "

The tactics stuff was decent and they handled it a couple of ways - in preview they had a large virtual field filled with EA Sports video game style players with Alexi Lalas doing tactical breakdowns, (which is a bit like having Arjen Robben talking about haircare I realise).

Then they also had the ESPN 360 tool thingy, which is a piece of kit I'd like to see more of. They can spin a virtual camera through a complete 360 around any point on the field and then drag the players about to show you where they went and where they should have gone and that's very good. I'd seen it a couple times before and I like it - they busted it out to show how America's midfield should have tracked Gerrard's run on the first saturday and it was put to routinely good effect afterwards.

Mixed with Jonathan Wilson's continued writing and the rise of the likes of Zonal Marking, Shin Guardian and Football Further, it's been an excellent year for putting some tactical meat on the bones for the viewer.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:16 PM on July 12

No more US announcers for futbol games until they become more knowledgeable about the history, players and tactics of the game. They seem to have dialed back on Americanisms like "inbounds pass" so I'll give them that. But, Lalas has to go. He just came off as a smug, ignorant dork. Having him in the center of the screen was the most annoying thing to watch. I wasn't too bothered by Harkes because I didn't see him, missed most of the matches where he was commentating, and he seemed to not talk that much. (I saw the complaints about his stating the obvious, but I never witnessed it myself.)

btw, what happened to Andres Cantor, the GOOOOOOOOOOL guy? He would've been another great announcer for these games. Speaks both English and Spanish fluently, has great knowledge of the game, passion and that trademark call.

Finally: THIS.

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:19 PM on July 12

Like it or not, I think Lalas has his eye on a broadcasting career, and I'm not so bothered about that: he can become the Alan Hansen of the American game. The apparent iron curtain keeping ESPN Deportes employees off the English-language network other than during breaks? More troubling.

btw, what happened to Andres Cantor, the GOOOOOOOOOOL guy?

Cantor is contracted to Telemundo; the Spanish-language rights for the World Cup belong to Univision. He's probably subject to a non-compete clause which doesn't apply to the ringers from Sky. Perhaps ITV can hire him?

posted by etagloh at 05:36 PM on July 12

Not arguing overall who was better but it still bugs me that the Spain goal started off a blown call by Webb, goal kick to Spain instead of corner to Holland.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:39 PM on July 12

I'm annoyed at the perceived dichotomy (even more pronounced since the match finished) that portrays Holland as some kind of pantomime villain, with Spain as a bunch of noble heroes who represent the true spirit of the game. I call bullshit, based on a memory that goes back more than two years.

posted by owlhouse at 09:04 PM on July 12

Come off it. The Dutch were lucky not to be going into the second half with 9 or 10 men on the pitch.

Admittedly, when the ref hands out a yellow, for a foul that he didn't even see only after the Spaniard rolls around in agony for five minutes, I say you are right as rain.

The ref had an inexcusable miss of the corner kick won by the Dutch, which was called a goal kick and directly led up to the goal.

These were calls which had a "hand in the outcome of the game" and were not consistently and or justly called. Pretty important calls to be inconsistent on:

Second yellow and send off.

No call, no second yellow.

The ref had quite a bit to do with the outcome. That's a shame. You can tell me to come off it and that the better team won based on the last several years of excellence and that the Dutch were shameful at best, but then I'll just put my hands over my ears and call you Alexi Lalas;)

posted by tselson at 11:01 PM on July 12

Is there substance to the Telegraph's Ian Chadband arguing that the Dutch played under the weight of wanting victory so badly that its manner no longer mattered? I think so: they hardly played that way against Brazil or Uruguay, or even in the group matches.

It felt like they'd conceded the psychological battle before the kick-off -- against a side that had shown a tendency to value possession as an end in itself, had been beaten, and was surely beatable. Just because Howard Webb's on the pitch doesn't mean you have to play like Bolton on a Tuesday night in February.

posted by etagloh at 11:19 PM on July 12

Look, in my opinion, the Spanish have the most talented squad in the world right now. But they dink and dunk and play such a game of possession that it leads to an ugly game.

Did Holland even touch the ball in the first 7-8 minutes? Barely, and that would have went on for another 80 some odd minutes, if it was up to Spain and why not?

But it gets extremely frustrating for the opposing team and that leads to more aggressive play by anyone opposing Spain. Aggressive play leads to fouls and then Spain commences diving and working over the ref.

If any team should be chastised on the basis of not playing within the spirit of the beautiful game, it should be Spain. They are capable of a much more beautiful game than any team right now.

They played much more cautious than they should have. Or, perhaps they played the way they thought they should to have the best chance to win.

So did the Dutch. Neither was beautiful.

posted by tselson at 11:22 PM on July 12

I don't think the Spanish style of play leads to ugly games. The knockout games they played before the final were extremely watchable. It's a joy to watch them own the midfield and execute perfect passes in close proximity to opponents.

The biggest factors in the unwatchability of the final were the Dutch strategy of knocking people around, the Spanish strategy of diving all the time and the massive number of yellow cards, all three of which broke the flow of play and made the players chippy.

I am surprised the Dutch looked like they did. It was a different team than the one that got them there.

posted by rcade at 12:39 AM on July 13

Did Inter receive the same kind of abuse that the Dutch are now getting when they beat the supposedly 'beautiful' Barcelona in the Champions League? No, of course not. Instead, everyone called Mourinho a tactical genius, and criticised Barca's style for not being direct enough to turn weight of possession into goals.

Spain are not the future of football, despite what the pundits who can't remember more than three weeks ago* say. I wish these idiot commentators (we have them down here, too) would shut up about taka-tiki. Spain have a very good midfield who play in a particular way, and that's about it. It's also not very attractive at the business end of the pitch - four 1-0 wins through the knockout stages didn't do much for me, compared with the high tempo, fluid style of Germany which actually was good to watch and created more chances.

When this current generation (Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta) moves on, they'll have to think of something else. Meanwhile, at club level, the Way of Mourinho (hard working, negative, counter attacking) will prevail over pretty passing (I'm looking at you too, Arsenal).

/Kicks away soapbox.

* Switzerland, anyone?

posted by owlhouse at 02:03 AM on July 13

That game actually ruined the total sum of the enjoyment i got out of watching the whole tournament...

posted by StarFucker at 02:56 AM on July 13

I am surprised the Dutch looked like they did. It was a different team than the one that got them there.

I couldn't agree more. I was cheering for Netherlands in the Final because I really enjoyed watching them up to that point. I did not enjoy watching them Sunday.

posted by bender at 08:11 AM on July 13

The ref had an inexcusable miss of the corner kick won by the Dutch, which was called a goal kick and directly led up to the goal.

Guess what? If an opposing team's goal kick (which takes place at the other end of the field) "directly led" to the goal, then you might want to put the blame on the Netherland's defense.

I can understand blaming a free kick in the attacking zone, or a corner kick, or even a throw in. A goal kick, however, is the easiest play to defend, as the opposing team has to travel about 110 meters, and most of that is while the ball is in the air.

Admittedly, when the ref hands out a yellow, for a foul that he didn't even see only after the Spaniard rolls around in agony for five minutes, I say you are right as rain.

That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about the karate kick to the chest. The Netherlands should have been down a player after 28 minutes.

posted by grum@work at 08:26 AM on July 13

Yeah, that kick was pretty awesome. Crafty - not so much, but awesome nonetheless.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:52 PM on July 13

Guess what? If an opposing team's goal kick (which takes place at the other end of the field) "directly led" to the goal, then you might want to put the blame on the Netherland's defense.

Guess what. I used the word up because it means something.

That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about the karate kick to the chest.

And I'm talking about a different play. Is that okay?

I don't think the Spanish style of play leads to ugly games.

Spain's opponents were called for an average of 20.14 fouls per game.

Germany's 12.29

Spain's opponents in the first 5 games produced 13 yellows and 2 reds.

Spain completed 3,803 passes.

Germany 2,865 Holland 2,665 Uruguay 1,890

Spain scored fewer goals (8), had fewer shots on target (35) & a lower conversion rate (8.1%) than any world cup winner since '66.

Only 3 players scored for Spain at this world cup, beating the previous record low of 4 for a winning side (England, Italy)

Hey, I'm not trying to tell you what you should think is pretty or not, I just don't get the media portraying Spain as some team that plays the way the Dutch should have or used to play.

posted by tselson at 11:13 PM on July 13

Guess what? If an opposing team's goal kick (which takes place at the other end of the field) "directly led" to the goal, then you might want to put the blame on the Netherland's defense.

Guess what. I used the word up because it means something.

Oh, please.

directly led up to the goal. is the same thing as "directly led to the goal". The word "up" has no meaning in that sentence, other than to imply causality, and that's what I'm disputing.

That's like saying "the 2nd-half kick-off led up to the goal", or "the national anthems led up to the goal", which I believe had just as much impact on Netherland's defense falling to pieces on the Spanish goal.

posted by grum@work at 12:18 AM on July 14

I find it hard to believe that someone is actually defending the way Netherlands played and that the REF had something to do with why they lost... Amazing perspective...

posted by StarFucker at 12:22 AM on July 14

That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about the karate kick to the chest.

And I'm talking about a different play. Is that okay?

Well, sure. Except...

Come off it. The Dutch were lucky not to be going into the second half with 9 or 10 men on the pitch.

Admittedly, when the ref hands out a yellow, for a foul that he didn't even see only after the Spaniard rolls around in agony for five minutes, I say you are right as rain.

You're implying that the ref's decision making for handing out a suspect yellow card would be part of the reason why Holland could be down to 10 men at the half.

My statement was that you're ignoring the obvious point that Holland SHOULD have been down to 10 men because of the Shaolin-soccer attack by De Jong, not because of some perceived Spanish acting (on that or any other foul).

posted by grum@work at 12:25 AM on July 14

My statement was that you're ignoring the obvious point

You're ignoring any point I'm trying to make because of one play in the game. And being rather condescending along the way, I must add.

I concede.

posted by tselson at 10:06 PM on July 14

Only 1,430 days until the next World Cup.

posted by rcade at 10:34 PM on July 14

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