A late goal from Andr�s Iniesta gave Spain victory over Holland at the death of a cynical and ill-tempered final
To Spain, the glory of a World Cup triumph in which they prevailed over a deplorable Holland side that was reduced to 10 men was sealed when the English referee Howard Webb eventually dismissed Dutch defender John Heitinga with a second caution in the 109th minute. Cesc F�bregas, on as substitute, fed Andr�s Iniesta to score the winner seven minutes later.
An unforgettably ugly World Cup final ground its way to a penalty shoot-out, after offering cautions in place of goals. Holland were overwhelmingly the guilty party, with eight bookings to Spains four. Although football was not wholly excluded, chances were shunned and the Spain right-back Sergio Ramos put a free header high from a corner kick in the 77th minute. A little later, Arjen Robben broke clear for Holland but Iker Casillas saved at his feet. The goalkeepers team-mates had not been incisive enough until the very end.
The mayhem and nastiness of the occasion was an encumbrance for Spain, who will have visualised a wholly different type of game. It was potentially unsettling that victory should be seen as their destiny considering that they had never even reached the final before. Vicente del Bosques side, for that matter, have developed a highly individual style founded on exceptional technique that exhausts and demoralises opponents as a midfield of supreme artistry confiscates the ball.