8th of July 2010

The National Team will fight against Holland to climb the last step to heaven (0-1)

Spain is in the final of the World Cup. The powerful Germany fell once more against the National Team, which was better the whole 90 minutes of the match. Durban was the witness of a perfect match performed by Spain. Touching, controlling and hard work to give at the Moses Mabhida stadium a giant step to the greatest and most wanted title of the football world. Germany was unrecognizable against the Spanish pressure, surprised and unable to stop a team which looked for the passing and attacking football. It was lack of some pressure at the front, but in the minute 74, a defender, Carles Puyol, arrived to break everything in a corner kick and headed a ball which defeated Germany. The other main character was the fair play, without any card in the match stats. The big day, next Sunday the 11th of July, kick off at 20:30 at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. A date to remember.

Pedro Rodríguez jumped for the first time with the starting eleven, as part of a Vicente del Bosque’s manoeuvre to confuse the German defenders. And the player from the Canary Islands was one of the authors of the victory, without any doubt, the revolution of the match. He contributed with wit, pressure, passes, shots, skill… He disarmed the German defence, who was ready to face directly Fernando Torres, their black beast. The ‘9’ started the match at the bench for the second time in this World Cup, after being at the starting eleven and winning for four consecutive times since the defeat against Switzerland. He was the first change at the second half. During the first half he saw the match from the bench. At the minute 48 he jumped to warm up and substitute David Villa at the 80’. He played the role he was entrusted for, stop the way out of the ball and make lethal counterattacks. The one thing left was a goal to close the result. Javi Martínez and Jesús Navas supported their mates from the bench.

- Pedro stands out between the tactical game.

Vicente del Bosque’s team jumped with Casillas at the goal, Puyol, Piqué and Ramos in the defence; Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Xavi at the midfield, and the attacking trident leaded the attack with Villa, Iniesta and Pedro. The initial whistle sounded in Durban and the mutual respect was the common denominator: order and tactic. No hurries. Defence, construction and not raffling the ball. Pedro started to drill by the left touchline, testing Lahm. And he gave the first fright, passing to the centre to Villa which forced Neuer to go out. Germany conceded the ball and waited backwards, crouched before La Roja’s pressure. Villa, Pedro and Iniesta changed their positions, coming from the touchlines and damaging between the lines. Their skill also was frightening, with a header of Puyol from a pass to the centre of Iniesta after a corner kick.

The German attack waited for Özil. The World Cup’s sensation was looking for a long ball move or to surprise from the right touchline. From there he tried to take off space, with quick moves looking for a lethal shot of Klose. The Spanish defence did their work and the midfield, leaded by Busquets, dominated the tries of Schweinsteiger and Khedira, who didn’t appear against the Spanish passing game. The board were on the table. Spain, passing and elaborated game. Germany, quick attacks and a lot of danger with long balls to the area. Pedro was the most active at the front, receiving from behind, facing up, making one-two moves and passing to the centre… La Roja’s attacking soul. But they still need the last push, the sparkling to give sense to the tactical game. The last action, a long shot of Pedro with quite a lot of danger.

- Puyol the Shark

They put the foot down on the accelerator at the beginning of the second half. Spain attacked looking for advantage, maybe with a quicker pace than in the first half. Pedro was still playing on the right, running by the touchline and creating problems. Xabi Alonso added himself to the attack with two shots from outside the area, to the left and the right of the goal. In view of the circumstances, Löw decided to change the right winger, Boateng for Jansen. The change was useless to stop Pedro, who continued playing like an angel and creating moves, like the one which leaded Villa to shot crossed. And the player from the Canary Islands almost found the goal, with a missile from outside the area which was cleared by the goalkeeper. Immediately, Iniesta costumed himself as Maradona to slip in towards the area and pass a centre which Villa didn’t reach by millimetres in front of an empty goal.

Joachim, the German coach, didn’t see the things clear and at the 60’ made his second change, Kroos for Trochowski. Spain leaded the game and created danger, a double edged weapon, because the physical effort was bigger for Del Bosque’s players. And then Germany came. A counterattack with passes from left to right ended with a shot of Kroos which was cleared by Casillas. And Spain overcame the pressure in the best possible way, with a great goal of Puyol! In a set piece, at the 73’, La Roja broke the 0-0 with an incredible header of the Catalonian defender. He came from behind, alone and running over Piqué to head as a marshall.

And at the 80’ it was the turn of Torres. Against a broken Germany the ‘9’ prepared the counterattack for the second, in combination with Pedro, who got tangled up in a two versus one and lose the opportunity to give a pass for Torres to end the move. The ‘9’ was a missile and tried to shot again Neuer’s goal. At the end, La Roja kept the ball and defended hard the last attacks to explode then in a joyful shout to South Africa’s heaven. Spain is in the final!

- Match Stats:

Germany: Neuer, Boateng (Jasen 51’), Mertesacker, Friedrich, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira (Mario Gómez 80’), Özil, Podolski, Trochowski (Kroos 61’), Klose.

Spain: Casillas, Capdevila, Puyol, Piqué, Ramos, Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Marchena 92’), Xavi, Villa (Torres 80’), Iniesta, Pedro (Silva 85’).


0-1 (74’) Puyol arrives to head a goal after a corner kick of Xavi.

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