JOHANNESBURG (AP) Spain defeated the Netherlands by a score of 1-0 to win its first World Cup title on Sunday. Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal in extra time.
Even with Spain dominating possession, it was the Netherlands that had the best chance to score after 75 minutes of Sunday’s foul-filled World Cup final.
Arjen Robben took a through ball from playmaker Wesley Sneijder and went one-on-one with goalkeeper Iker Casillas, but his 62nd-minute shot was kicked out for a corner by Casillas’ right foot.
Before that, it was Spain that had the best chances to take the lead and win their first World Cup.
Defender Sergio Ramos sent a header from Xavi Hernandez’s cross on target, but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg made the save in the fifth minute. Spain striker David Villa’s left-foot volley from Xabi Alonso’s cross then hit the side-netting in the 12th.
Spain ended a 44-year barren spell when it won the 2008 European Championship and can become only the third team to be world and European champion at the same time.
Spain’s exquisite talent is reminiscent of that of the Dutch when “Total Football” carried them to the 1974 and ’78 finals.