Now let’s get down to the action.
Nelson Mandela is in the crowd. Fernando Torres comes on for Villa for the final 15 minutes with Spain hoping he can work his magic when it matters. SPA is the better side but I still believe HOL will win.
Spain made the brighter start Sergio Ramos going close twice, but the Dutch finished the half looking a little stronger although winning few friends for their robust approach.
45 minutes: Dutch finish half on a high note as Arjen Robben’s shot is tipped away by Casillas.
37 minutes: Pedro sends a shot wide after a promising attack but it’s hardly a feast of attacking football.
Half an hour gone and after a promising start the 19th World Cup final is turning into an attritional battle with plenty of fouls, some unpleasant.
That’s an outrageous challenge from De Jong. We are into double figures now.
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10 minutes: Ramos waltzes down the Dutch right and sends in a vicious cross shot which is cleared for a corner and in the follow up Xabi Alonso’s cross finds David Villa who shoots into the sidenetting.
110 minutes: Gregory van der Wiel becomes eighth Dutch player to be shown a yellow card.
22 minutes: Now Ramos has gone into the book for a sliding tackle on Kuyt. Again..tweets Stuart Holden and as a Premier League player with Bolton he should know.
81 minutes: Iniesta nearly squirms his way through but is denied by a last-ditch tackle from the Dutch man of the tournament Sneijder.
77 minutes: Iniesta has been subjected to some tough tackling all night and after another strong challenge from van Bommel extracts a little revenge and sees yellow. He’s lucky to still be on the pitch.
Four minutes: Spain nearly take an early lead as Sergio Ramos sees his header tipped away by Maarten Stekelenburg.
The deciding match is upon us. Penalties looming.
HALF-TIME: Goalless at the break in the 19th World Cup final which has seen five yellow cards with Nigel De Jong of the Netherlands lucky to still be on the pitch after a reckless challenge on Xabi Alonso.
60 minutes: First change of the match with Jesus Navas on for Spain in place of Pedro who has faded after a promising start.
82 minutes: Robben outpaces Puyol who does just enough to hinder his progress and Casillas gathers the ball.
108 minutes: Heitinga pulls back Iniesta and is the first man to be shown red, hardly surprising after a night of 11 yellow cards.
27 minutes: How is de Jong not sent off there?? Reckless challenge..
115 minutes: Sneijder’s free kick takes a double deflection but Spain escape with a goal kick. Almost losing count now but that’s the ninth and apparently an unwanted World Cup record.
76 minutes: A totally unmarked Sergio Ramos meets a corner from just a few meters out and sends it over the crossbar.
55 minutes: Spain hearts in their mouths as Villa left writhing on the floor and John Heitinga goes into the book, number five for the Dutch.
53 minutes: Dutch captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst marks his final game with a yellow card.
48 minutes: Puyol attacks the ball from a corner and it leaves Joan Capdevila with a chance but he fluffs his volley. Alonso is lucky not to have cracked ribs, tweets a hot-under-the-collar CNN Armchair fan Matt Booth.
Looks like the jubilani for the final has gold rings instead of green and red.
61 minutes: Golden, golden chance for the Dutch. WOW tweets CNN’s Ben Wyatt.
Latest team news: European champions Spain left star striker Fernando Torres on the bench for the World Cup final against Holland as coach Vicente Del Bosque opted for the same starting line-up that beat Germany in the semifinals.
Young Barcelona winger Pedro will play up front again alongside the prolific David Villa. Robben is unhappy that he is not awarded a free kick and receives a yellow card. Robben sent clean through by Sneijder and he must score but for a crucial touch by Spain keeper Casillas who sticks out his right leg to divert the ball for a corner. I wonder if this one works any better? CNN’s armchair fan Matt Booth tweets rather cynically !
Seven minutes: First shot of the match for the Dutch – a long-range effort from Dirk Kuyt but Spain look the more menacing side by far.
96 minutes: End-to-end goalmouth action and from a Dutch corner Joris Mathijsen is nearly an unlikely scorer. Iniesta is booked for his celebration but that hardly matters now. 2-2 on cards.
21 minutes: Mark van Bommel clatters into Andres Iniesta and is perhaps lucky just to escape with a yellow card.
17 minutes: Wesley Sneijder into action for first time with a low shot which might have tested Iker Casillas who safely gathers.
16 minutes: Spain central defender Carles Puyol joins van Persie in Howard Webb’s book.
14 minutes: Further sign of Dutch frustration as Robin van Persie booked for a clumsy tackle. Both sides have had gilt-edged chances in the second half, with Robben twice denied by Casillas when clean through and Villa and Ramos going close for Spain. Again..
92 minutes: Strong Spanish appeals for a penalty are waved away by referee Howard Webb.
104 minutes: Van Bronckhorst’s career has ended with his substitution just before the end of the first half of extra-time.
86 minutes: Cesc Fabregas second Spanish subsitution for Alonso in an attacking move by Vicente Del Bosque.
How is de Jong not sent off there?? Reckless challenge..
95 minutes: Fabregas could have become super-sub as Iniesta puts him in the clear but Stekelenburg makes a superb save in the Dutch goal. Everyone’s head in hands !
71 minutes: Dutch make first change with Kuyt replaced by flying Eljero Elias.
69 minutes: Spain’s best chance of the match quickly follows as Navas crosses for Villa, but sees his effort blocked by Heitinga, who had made the original mistake to let him in. Nigel De Jong takes out Alonso with a chest-high tackle and like van Bommel might have seen red on another day. Pity.
We’re underway in the second half and fingers crossed for some goals and more entertainment to grace a World Cup final.
As expected, the Dutch made two changes to their side from the one that beat Uruguay in their semi-final.
Ajax right-back Gregory van der Wiel and defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong, who both missed the win over Uruguay, returned after serving one-match suspensions.
Netherlands: Maarten Stekelenburg; Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst (capt); Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong; Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt; Robin van Persie
Coach: Bert van Marwijk (NED)
Spain: Iker Casillas (capt); Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Joan Capdevila; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso; Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro; David Villa
Coach: Vicente Del Bosque (ESP)
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
. Edgar Braafheid comes on
100 minutes: Navas shot deflected wide by van Bronckhorst and into side netting.
98 minutes: Superb defending from van Bronckhorst keeps out Iniesta just before Dutch make subsitution as De Jong departs to be replaced by Rafael van der Vaart.
Extra time starts and we are perhaps 30 minutes away from the agony and uncertainty of penalties.
FULL-TIME: Still goalless and we’re heading for extra-time. Reckless. is the reaction of the Real Madrid official tweeter.
Iniesta’s goal in extra time gave Spain the victory.
Spain win the World Cup for the first time after 1-0 win over the NetherlandsAn extra-time goal from Andres Iniesta settles a bad-tempered final at Soccer CityReferee Howard Webb brandishes 13 yellow cards and sends off Dutchman John Heitinga Former South African president Nelson Mandela attends final at Soccer City
(CNN) — FINAL RESULT: Spain 1-0 The Netherlands
Spain win the World Cup for the first time as an extra time goal from Andres Iniesta gives them a last-gasp victory over the Netherlands in the final at Soccer City.
A game littered with no less than 13 yellow cards and one red is settled by a moment of magic by the Barcelona midfielder after being played in by substitute Cesc Fabregas. Atmosphere at Soccer City has been electric all day, tweets CNN’s Pedro Pinto
Teams are out the anthems have been played. 1-0 Spain.
66 minutes: Perhaps a sign the Dutch are getting on top as Capdevila is forced to trip van Persie and sees yellow.
116 minutes: The goal all Spain and most neutrals have been waiting for as Andres Iniesta breaks the deadlock after clever work by Cesc Fabregas. Dutch down to 10 men but Spain waste free kick.
HALF-TIME IN EXTRA TIME: Goalless still.
Casillas with a miracle save to deny Robben! Great chance squandered, tweets CNN’s Ben Wyatt