Spaniards kick-start their rule in Africa

Flashback 2010

Spaniards kick-start their rule in Africa

Hosts: South Africa
Final: July 11 2010: Soccer City,
Johannesburg
SPAIN: 1 NETHERLANDS: 0
Attendance: 84,490

Spain, who won the European title in 2008, became the eighth different country to be crowned world champions at the end of a disappointing finals which were the first to be played on African soil

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A World Cup that promised so much, failed to deliver on so many levels.

Of the six African countries taking part, only Ghana survived the group stages and South Africa became the first hosts to be eliminated in the first round.

Many matches were played in freezing weather in stadiums where the atmosphere was killed off by the incessant drone of vuvuzelas.

To top it off, the final itself was the worst since 1990 with only an extra-time goal from Spain's Andres Iniesta separating the teams as Spain became the first side from Europe to win the World Cup outside their own continent.

Referee Howard Webb handed out 14 yellow cards in the final and sent off John Heitinga of the Netherlands before Spain recorded their fourth successive 1-0 win after beating Portugal, Paraguay and Germany by the same score on their way to the final.

The tournament had started brightly for the hosts with Siphiwe Tshabalala scoring a stunning first goal in a 1-1 draw with Mexico, but even a win over 2006 finalists France could not stop them being eliminated.

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