What Happened

After dominating possession of the ball for most of the match, Carles Puyol scored a spectacular header for the game’s only goal on 73 minutes, as Spain deservedly beat Germany to head to the World Cup final against the Netherlands.


Notes from Joe

- Amazing Spain were that good at keeping the ball against a German team that’s so comfortable in possession themselves. Let’s not forget this Germany team beat England and Argentina so bad they basically made them cry, and they were completely tamed by the Spanish.

- Another outstanding game from Xavi, the conductor of the Spanish orchestra. Their entire game is based on keeping the ball, he he ensures it flows from one side of the pitch to another. He really knows how to create space for his teammates

- Ho hum, another clean sheet for Spain. They don’t get enough credit for their defending — probably because they always have the ball — but the way they packed the top of the box in numbers for the final ten minutes was very effective. They were also very cautious of the German counter-attacks, and were never really caught up field that badly.

- Thought Piotr Trochowski did okay in Thomas Muller’s spot, but obviously there was a drop-off in quality, Of course, Trochowski was also going up against competition that was tougher than Muller faced. Thought Toni Kroos provided more invention and quality delivery than Trochowski when he came on in the 62nd minute, though.

- Have to admit I was a bit disappointed to see Germany lose. Really fell in love with the way they played this tournament. A true team that worked so cohesively together with no egos. Hopefully Joachim Loew stays on as manager so we can get the pleasure of watching this team at Euro 2012.

- Great quote from Joachim Loew after the match (hat -tip to @andybrassell) "Nobody passes the ball like Spain. The quality in our players is extraordinary and one day, with time, work & experience, maybe we can beat them".

- Get the feeling the Final is going to be a real chess match, and will probably play out in a similar fashion with Spain keeping the ball, patiently probing for openings, and the Dutch sitting back waiting for their chance.


Notes from Kristian

- Another clean sheet and another hero for Spain. They are deserved finalists.

- As expected, Germany played with two banks of four without the ball, content to counter-attack. Spain dominated play, but couldn’t find that one killer pass. Interesting that Spain – with poor crosses all game – got their goal from a delightful Xavi ball in and a brilliant Carles Puyol header from the corner, after they had elected to play the ball short on a couple of set pieces earlier.

- When they got the lead, Spain pressed Germany very effectively, forcing them into hoofing hopeful long balls.

- Can’t believe Pedro did not pass to Fernando Torres in that 2 on 1 late in the match. Wasn’t at all surprised to see him taken off after either. It was an incredibly selfish play. Not only would a pass likely have put Spain 2-0 up, it also could have broken Torres’ duck.

- Jerome Boateng basically played as a centreback in the left fullback position. Marcell Jansen provided much more in attack from that spot when he came on.

- Sami Khedira’s stock just keeps rising. Not sure if it’s Bastian Schweinsteiger that’s making him look so good or not though.


Three Stars

1. Xavi

2. Carles Puyol

3. Bastian Schweinsteiger


Links: Wire recap I Box score


Comments (36)

  1. The CBC analyst Jason Devos seemed to put a lot of blame on Podolski for the Puyol goal. I’d definitely say that the blame should go to whoever didn’t mark him. Giving him an open header was just asking to be scored on.

  2. Well, if there was any team a German fan could feel ok about losing to, it would be Spain. They deserve the opportunity they have on Sunday, and hey, a final between the two best teams never to have won a Word Cup? That’s win-win-win.

    This final makes you wonder whether qualification records don’t in fact mean anything.

  3. Deserved win by España!! They had control of that game from minute 1, and patiently looked for any openings that the Germans would give.

    I think the German team severely missed Thomas Mueller, as he was the spark plug that would make the plays on Germany’s counterattacks along with Ozil, which minus one play (the Kroos shot stopped by Casillas) was preetty much ineffective.

    And what was Pedro thinking on that last chance where he had “El Niño” wide open on the left. I can only imagine him thinking is that if he passes that ball over to Torres, and Torres scores, Torres starts the World Cup final and Pedro is benched. He might just get benched for that play, period. Unreal!!

  4. ^^
    Spain and the Netherlands were two of the best qualifiers in Europe. Neither of them lost a game.

  5. I thought the first half was a little too cat and mouse – the type of game Spain might be willing to pass around for the full 90 minutes. But they are deserved winners.

    Germany couldn’t get their “kill you in transition” game going when Spain, unlike Argentina and especially England does not give up the ball. Like so many others, the Germans were left chasing shadows.

    First time winners inevitable. European side winning outside Europe inevitable. Lots of firsts at this World Cup!


  6. By the way, the UNOFFICIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP is also on the line on Sunday:



  7. Why even bother watching the first 120 minutes of the final. We’re gonna be watching the two most boring teams this World Cup. Credit to the Dutch, they’ve stepped it up in the last two games but I think I’ll be sick if I have to watch another Spanish game more mind numbing than the constant drone of vuvuzelas.

  8. To all the haters out there…cry…just go ahead and cry…as a Spaniard in Canada(Theres almost none all you college st imposters) I cant put into words how happy this has made me. I can’t wait til Spain make Van Persie eat his words…I just hope Villa scores in the final too, he deserves the golden boot. Spain keeps defying the odds, everyone keeps bad mouthing them, and they keep getting the wins…I am going to enjoy this moment, but def cant wait til sunday…Viva la furia roja!!

  9. I think The Footy Show crew should just go on holiday…all we need is a live stream of Paul the Octopus to tell us what will happen on Sunday

  10. @Bishopville Red

    i follow the unofficial world championship too. should be interesting to see if another long streak will start on Sunday.

  11. How I hate Barcelona and Spain. Incredibly frustrating to watch them pass the ball around like that until they score and prevent the other team from doing so. I can’t wait to see the back of the Spanish midfielders liks Iniesta and Xavi in 4-8 years. This final might end up being worst than the Italy-France final from ’06.

    If Miroslav Klose scores in the bronze game, does it count towards his total WC tally?

  12. You could almost here the collective sigh of relief all the way from the Netherlands . The planets are lining up for the Dutch , I can’t see them losing now that the Germans are gone .

  13. Has it dawned on any of you that Pedro didn’t pass because like alot of players they are selfish. Is there any guarantee that Torres would have passed in the same situation.he’s just as selfish.

  14. Only a person like Notorious who most lkely just discovered the game this past month considers Spains passing game boring. Must be one of those people who only looks at the scoreboard and expects goals to be scored ata rate like basketball points.

  15. The result didn’t surprise me . Spain is truly Germany’s biggest enemy . Germany plays well against all the teams but when it comes to the Spanish they always fall. they played the same way against the Spain as they played two years ago. They had no control over the ball and they kept messing everything up. Better luck next time …. dutchland still my team.

  16. pedro is an asshole….he ruined my pool

    then again if pedro passed to torres and he had scored, would that have meant torres would have started over pedro? interesting take

  17. 4 P’s of Spanish success: Possession of the ball; constant defensive Pressure on the ball shutting down German offensive play; “Pique Away to safety” over and over; and lastly Puyol’s undying desire to succeed and lead his team. Made Germany look rather ordinary and lacking in maturity needed to beat Spain.

  18. ….and totally off topic, is it just me or does David Villa really look like Peter Barlow from Corrie St,.?

  19. @Tony: I’ve been a football fan for 14 years and trust me I’ve seen my share of boring games, but nothing that has actually made me stop watching a game halfway through like Spain have this World Cup.

  20. A lot of people don’t appreciate Spain’s tiki-taka football because to them it seems like a simple, boring, back-and-forth passing game, but the fact of the matter is that tiki-taka football is so much more than that… If you have watched Barcelona or Spain played for as long as I have, then you begin to see and appreciate the “inner” beauty, so to speak, and intricacy of this “simple” passing game.

  21. People always hating on the tiki-taka football by Spain and Barcelona. Bottomline the last 5 years Barcelona always goes deep in Champions League and they won it twice. Spain won Euro 2008 and are now in their 1st World Cup final. Yeah what a horrible system. LOL. Do the haters even see the nice back heel passes, flick passes, 1-2 passes?

  22. Who is the front runner for Fifa player of the year?
    So depending on who wins the final, does this determine the Fifa player of the year?
    I hope so, I enjoy watching Messi but despite his goals in Europe, others have had more success.

    Dutch win: Sneijder should win! He would have won the treble and WC! Maybe also Robben? the double and champs league final plus a WC.

    Spanish win: does Sneijder still win it? Xavi or Iniesta finally get their prize? Villa if he scores in the final and has a great start to next club season?

    Any other players to be considered? Wether they are from those 2 teams or not?

  23. If you are angry at the way Spain plays their football, then you MUST be irate at the way some teams play nothing BUT Catenaccio football…

  24. Was down at your show after we beat Argentina and was going to go tonight as well to say I’m very proud of die junge Mannschaft! Wait ’til these kids have played together for a two more years!
    Also, do you figure el Nino was waiting for Pedro in the parking lot after that match, or what?!?!?!
    I knew one goal would win this match, so at that point I was kind of rooting for Torres (he looked so sad in his “not-in-the-starting-lineup” pinnie.

    And finally, does anyone else think today’s match should have been the final?
    I’m not sure the Oranje have a hope.

  25. Mueller is that good, his loss was Spain’s gain as they beat the Germans who were missing that killer instinct they gave us the whole tournament. Germany played good, but Spain was making the right moves with possession. The German backs were very good, as they were killing all of Villa’s chances and weren’t getting booked for his falling on command… though I feel the Dutch , who are firing on all cylinders offensivly, will pose the best challenge for this Spanish team.
    Great pods by the way guys.

  26. it is an insult that spain even made it this far since paraguay were far better then they were. This game was fixed as there is no way Germany would all of sudden not play their game. Spain is boring they have scored 1-0 wins in last 3 games just getting by something they always bash italy about over the years. I hate them bunch of hypocrites . I hope the Netherlands win or it will be a disgrace to have spain’s name on that cup almost nauseating to think about it

  27. Are there really that many real Spanish people in toronto? I see all these people on College st but I have a feeling they are not true spaniards, just a bunch of band wagon jumpers. Oh and Spain I hope you lose your a bunch of arrogant assholes and suck 1-0 again come on your a joke a fraud

  28. Fuck Spain , Paraguay should have beat them , I hate this fucken team and Xavi that fucken piece of shit. I have never met a bunch of fucken cry babies and I hate to see them smile. I hope they lose Sunday it would be the greatest day in soccer . FUCK YOU SPAIN

  29. I think the netherlands deserve to finally win a world cup they were in the final in 74 and 78 and lost both i think they deserve it they are 6-0 and haven’t lost a match in the past 25 matches! anyways Sharman what do you think about Italy and there new coach and new era coming in Balotelli, Giovinco, Santon, Aquafresca will they be back? and have a good team for the euro 2012? forza italia

  30. It’s funny non one mentioned the Cassano fan running onto the pitch… was he from the score studio (was it cabbie????) lol

    Antonio Cassano in 2014

  31. Nobody gave Spain any merits, at least on this side of the Atlantic.
    Spain plays a certain way, and if you have a whole team playing back, Spain doesn’t look good, it’s boring. Spain needs the field to play the game, and when you have teams playing like every team has, just standing back and defending, you won’t see the real ability of “La Roja”.
    Chile and Paraguay were more dangerous than Germany, because they defended with 10 men the whole game, thats why you couldn’t see Spains real soccer.
    If Germany would’ve played like they played against Argentina, Spain would’ve killed them cause of the open field.
    Germany had too much respect and were scared of Spains midfield.
    Youth and intimidation were the key factors in the spanish domination.
    Finally we saw what Spain is capable of. The defence was amazing.
    Hopefully we’ll see it against the Dutch.
    I’m very proud of our team no matter happens on Sunday.

  32. @ El-Guaje and Marco – there ARE Spaniards in Toronto (myself and my sizeable family among them)… we just don’t parade around the streets with our flags, like other arrogant people do, for every single game we win – not naming any names. When the job is done, and we have the World Cup, THEN there is reason to celebrate. As for those bandwagon jumpers, I don’t mind them at all – people just want to party, is that such a crime? I have friends from all nationalities supporting my Spanish team – and I love it, thank you very much. I like to think that we are welcoming towards others, and not part of some kind of ELITE Spanish mentality. My opinion. And Marco, where do you get off generalizing Spaniards as being arrogant?? You are hilarious, especially since it seems you’ve never met any personally.
    Johan – you are so classy.

    Truth be told, I have not liked Spain’s games in this tournament, until they played Germany – no, not an exciting full-of-goals game, but they were tactically exceptional and made me truly believe that Casillas will hoist the Cup on Sunday. I’ll take that over a defensive/diving/cheating team ANY DAY, whether or not they make it to the finals ever again.

  33. Gotta love these guys hate on Spain’s “boring” play. I guess in “interesting” is a bunch of track stars and technically poor footballers pounding the flanks and lumping low percentage crosses to the “big guy” in the box right ?

  34. sssssssssssssssssssssssseee what did i say on july 6 2010 i told you spain wil win cuz the country is under more pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppain i was right
    this sunday the battle of european will start just watcccccccccccccccccccch
    tula tula from toronto

  35. Of course spanish fans are going to defend their team but from a neutral perspective there’s nothing interesting in playing the ball all the way back to the keeper when an opposition player comes within 15 feet of the ball. Spain are a good technical team and don’t have to resort to playing like this. Safe to say, they’ve lost a fan this world cup. I hope the Dutch give them a thrashing and show them how to really play football.

  36. Spain will be impossible to stop for years to come

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