Spain will be playing in their first ever World Cup final after beating Germany 0-1 in the semi-finals! Puyol headed in a corner from his Barcelona team mate Xavi with just over a quarter of an hour to go to take Del Bosque's side through to meet Holland in Johannesburg next Sunday.
The coach made one change to his line-up, Pedro's inclusion instead of Torres meaning there were no less than seven Barcelona players in the team. Within minutes Neuer had to save from Villa after Pedro put him through, and Puyol headed a cross from Xavi over the top. Germany held fast though, and Sergio Ramos was lucky to be let off scot-free after he brought down Özil on the edge of the area just before the break.
Spain came out strongly after the restart though, Xabi Alonso firing a couple of long shots wide and Villa and Ramos just failing to get on the end of a dangerous Iniesta cross. Casillas (who set a new Spanish World Cup record after a third clean sheet in a row) was only really called in to action to save from substitute Kroos with twenty minutes to go, and three minutes later came the goal, Puyol producing a powerful header to leave Neuer stranded.
Löw's reaction was to bring on his own Spanish striker Mario Gómez, but although they pushed forward the Spanish defence, ably marshalled by Piqué, kept them at bay. Del Bosque replaced Villa with Fernando Torres, and the Liverpool forward could have opened his account had Pedro not chosen to go it alone after a long breakaway, with Torres free in front of goal. Ten minutes later though came the final whistle, and the celebrations began. The European champions had beaten Germany once again, and now only one hurdle remains. (07.07.10)