I’m expecting a Spanish victory, forcing me to eat crow over my longtime claims that Spain always disappoints at the World Cup. In fairness, I’ve always been right until this year, but I’d have to say that this Spanish squad has played very well. Since I think their possession game will stymie Netherlands, I’m picking them to win.
It’s not that Netherlands will be without chances given the firepower they’ve got on board, but I don’t think they’re as good defensively, and if David Villa gets hot, they’ll be in real trouble.
Netherlands is out there in orange looking like a crew of HazMat workers. Spain with the early possession. Spanish header nicely saved.
Bad defensive mistakeâ€”always control the ball on a turn, don’t let it just goâ€”gives Netherlands a shot. Great, quick counter.
Villa has been called offside Â a couple of times, but it’s close. Netherlands is really playing with fire there.
Yellow to Van Persie for another stupid challenge. He seems frustrated early about Netherlands lack of possession. Spain has really controlled the opening 15 minutes.
Yellow now to Puyol for a challenge that gets all kinds of player but no kinds of ball. Free kick to Netherlands. Saved. Not a bad shot with the Jabulani ball.
Yellow to Van Bommel. Why are they sliding through players like this? Honestly, stay on your feet.
Yellow to Sergio Ramos for the same thing. Good grief, we’re going to get people tossed for sure at this rate.
Yellow to De Jong for a karate kick into a Spaniard’s chest. That could have been a straight red. Man, there is all kinds of stupid going on out there.
A bit of fair play from the Netherlands. Spain’s keeper tosses the ball out near midfield after one of his players goes down. Netherlands inbounds and kicks it back to him. It hops high and with speed over the keeper’s head and, fortunately, doesn’t go into the net. He did manage a hand on it, though, so corner kick to Netherlands. They kick it to him in another display of sportsmanship.
0-0 at half.
Bronckhorst picks up a yellow on a Spanish flop. Lame.
Yellow to Heitinga for fouling Villa who flops around like a fish out of water. Foul, yes, but lame acting job to sell it.
Somebody is going to get tossed for sure.
Spanish keeper comes up huge in a 1 on 1 and saves the Spanish hopes. Robben had a great chance there.
Yellow to Capdevila for, uh, nothing, if the replay is to be believed.
Yellow to Robben for yelling at the ref after missing his second great breakaway chance of the day.
0-0 at the end of regulation. 30 minutes of overtime to follow.
Three Spanish flops in the box. No call. Good job, ref.
0-0 at the end of the 1st OT. Villa subbed out for Torres.
Heitinga gets tossed with a second yellow 4 minutes into the 2nd OT. Weak call. Looked very floppish. Dangerous spot for a kick though! For the next 10 minutes, Netherlands is down a guy. Will this be what Spain needs to make a breakthrough? Van Der Wiel gets a yellow on a trip. Didn’t touch him.
INIESTA! GOAL in the 11th minute of the 2nd OT period! Yellow to Mathijsen for yelling at the ref. Great half volley. Nothing the keeper is going to do about that.
Netherland tries gamely but no can do, and it’s Spain 1-0. Lots of arguing after by the Netherlands guys with the ref. Pretty classless, really.