Spain set up Holland showdown

  • Last Updated: July 7 2010, 22:55 BST

Carles Puyol powered Spain into their first World Cup final as his thunderous second-half header was enough for them to beat Germany 1-0.

  • Carles Puyol is mobbed after scoring the only goal.
  • Puyol heads highest to score. 
  • Puyol leads the Spain celebrations. 
  • Dejection for Germany at full-time. 

The Euro 2008 winners dominated possession but initially struggled to create clear openings against Joachim Low's impressive young side.

But after failing to break through with their subtle approach, Spain eventually brought out the sledgehammer.

Iker Casillas deserves plenty of credit for his fine save at the other end to deny Toni Kroos moments before the goal.

But when midfield schemer Xavi curled a corner deep into the German box, 32-year-old Puyol showed the German young guns what experience can bring as he rose highest to power an unstoppable header beyond Manuel Neuer.

For Germany it was a game too far. But with their impressive victories against England and Argentina, they have signalled a new dawn for their team.

Spain's prowess has been known for some time. That is why they had the strength to leave out a strangely shot-shy Fernando Torres.

And against Holland at Soccer City on Sunday, they will attempt to confirm their class, as FIFA waits to crown a new champion, no matter who wins.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said: "All of our players were extraordinary - but we still have a match to play. We know Dutch football and it will be very tough in the final."

He added: "From defence through to attack I think we played a great game.

"We've got another game in front of us, let's see if we are able to control the ball. We're in good shape physically, so let's see if we can win."

Germany coach Joachim Low said: "In the last two or three years (Spain) have been one of the best and most united teams.

"They circulate the ball well and we couldn't play the way we like to play.

"We had great plans but it didn't work out. (Spain) have won all the big games in the last year.

"It's a good team that has played together now for two or three years."