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World Cup

By United Press International   |   July 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM   |   Comments

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 12 (UPI) -- Spain won the World Cup with an extra-time goal delivering a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the finals of the world's most watched soccer tournament.

The win set off celebrations Sunday across Spain, which was appearing in its first World Cup final. Even without a strong history of World Cup success, the Spaniards were considered one of the pretournament favorites, taking a FIFA No. 2 rankings and an European championship from two years ago into the event.

It was another bout of frustration for the Dutch, who are runners-up for a third time. They also lost finals in 1974 and 1978.

It was fitting the game ended 1-0. Spain won all of its elimination games by that count and 31 of the 64 World Cup games this year were decided by one goal. Andres Iniesta's impressive kick in the 116th minute Sunday kept the World Cup from being decided on penalty kicks.

Spain's Ikar Casillas allowed just two goals over seven games and was awarded the World Cup's Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper.

Uruguay's Diego Forlan was selected the winner of the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. He tied for the most goals (five) but lost the Golden Boot honor to Germany's Thomas Mueller, who added three assists to his five goals. Mueller was also voted the World Cup's best young player.

The tournament was a huge success for South Africa, whose ability to stage an event of this magnitude was questioned right up to the first kickoff June 11. But there were scant problems with the organization.

What issues there were seemed to be a number of questionable calls by officiating crews, but those FIFA's problems and not South Africa's fault. FIFA has four years to deal with them before the 2014 World Cup is contested in Brazil.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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