The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was one that had a few surprises. After all, the Italy lost to Slovakia and drew with New Zealand, the French to lost South Africa, and Spain lost to the Swiss. However, in the end class tells and there was not much surprise about the eventual winner.
In the group stages, there were a good few surprises. Most notable was the world champions early exit from the group stages as Italy lost to Slovakia. However, most of the favorites still made progress including the likes of Brazil who finished top of their group. Spain also topped their group after losing to Switzerland 1-0 in the opening game. Holland and Argentina's results were perfect, as they won all their group games.
In the 2nd round Germany took on England. This game had controversy as England's equalizer crossed the line, but was disallowed. However, despite this Germany's victory was emphatic enough as two further goals in the 2nd half ensured a 4-1 win.
Spain's game in the 2nd round was against Portugal. This game had few goals in it, and so Villa's goal was enough to win the game for Spain 1-0 overall. As such, Spain progressed to the quarter-finals to play Paraguay.
Holland's infallible form also continued in the second round against Slovakia. Their 2-1 victory saw them progress into the quarter-finals. Here, they were drawn against Brazil after their 3-0 thrashing of Chile.
As such, the quarter-finals saw Holland take on Brazil for a place in the semi-finals. Brazil took the lead in this game and were seemingly on course for a place in the semi-finals. However, a second half equalizer form Holland changed the game, and Sniejder added a second goal to make it 2-1 to Holland. As Brazil were reduced to ten men there was no way back, and Holland made it to the semi-finals.
Spain's game against Paraguay was a chance for either team to make it to the semi-finals for the first time. As a dull first-half ended goal-less, the second half saw both teams take – and miss – penalties. However, a goal from Villa ensured a 1-0 victory for Spain.
Germany also took on Argentina for a place in the semi-finals. Overall, it was an emphatic win for the Germans as they ran out 4-0 winners. With this win, they were set to play Spain in the semi-finals.
So, the remaining four teams were left to play for a place in the semi-final of the Fifa World Cup. Spain took on Germany, as the Spanish aimed for their first World Cup final. The game had few goals, but Puyol's header sealed the win for Spain and another 1-0 victory.
In the second semi-final, Holland took on Uruguay. This game had far more goals, including a fantastic opener from Bronkhurst. However, Uruguay equalized only for Holland to go 3-1 up in the second half after Robben headed the third goal. A late goal for Uruguay was not enough as Holland progressed to the final.
So, in the final Spain played Holland. While this was hardly a classic match, both teams had chances with Holland dangerous on the counter-attack. As the game progressed, Spain pressed for a winning goal in the second half but the game remained goal-less. However, in extra-time an Iniesta strike sealed a 1-0 victory for Spain and their first World Cup.
With that, Spain lifted the first Fifa World Cup on African soil. The winners of the 2010 Fifa World Cup set a new record for the lowest scoring World Cup winning team, but at any rate poor finishing was the team's biggest weakness. Fifa stats record they had the most shots on goal! However, thanks to Villa's goals and the talents of his team-mates, Spain won their first World Cup.