Spain Edges Holland In Extra Time To Win World Cup


Vive La Roja.
Spain, on a goal by Andres Iniesta in the 116th minute, topped The Netherlands to win the 19th World Cup competition.
The Spaniards backed up their Euro 2008 win with the ultimate futbol crown, one that left the Dutch a runner-up for a third time, after the also Oranje failed in the 1974 and 1978 finals. Spain became the eighth nation to hoist the coveted Cup.
Breaking free inside the right-side of the penalty area, Iniesta fielded a pass from Cesc Fabregas, who had made things happen after entering the game as a midfield substitute, and put a right-footer past Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The agony for the Dutch was compounded as Spain keeper Iker Casillas had thwarted forward on Arien Robbens on a breakaway in the 62nd minute.
As ESPN studio host Chris Fowler said at halftime, the match was more rough than rhythmic. A final's record 14 yellow cards were called, with a second on John Heitinga in the 109th minute, translating to red, which left the Dutch short a man for the balance of extra time
As for individual awards, Uruguay's Diego Forlan won the Golden Ball as the tournament's top player, followed by The Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder with the Silver Ball and Spain's David Villa with the Bronze Ball.
Germany's Thomas Muller took home a pair of awards. He was the voted the best young player of the tourney and put on the Golden Boot as its top scorer, with five goals and three assists. Villas and Sneijder were fitted for the silver and bronze, respectively.
Spain's Casillas netted the Golden Glove as the top keeper, and his side was the Fair Play winner.
Hence, the books are now closed on the 2010 World Cup from South Africa, save for the audience tallying. FIFA estimates the final will draw over 700 million more than the 2006 World Cup from Germany.
How many will come from the U.S. -- where the Cup caught on especially while Sam's Army made its run to top Group C before bowing to Ghana in the round of 16 -- on ABC and Univision?

Some sense for those answers should come with tomorrow's Nielsen report.

Next up: the Women's World Cup from Germany next year and the 2014 tourney from Brazil, where the U.S. audience should explode owing to more favorable time zones that should put matches in better daytime windows and a number of contests in primetime.