8 Jul 2010

Midfield mastery seals Spanish success

11:58 am on 8 July 2010

Bossing the midfield with experienced, talented players was the decisive factor in Spain's deserved 1-0 win over Germany in the football World Cup semi-final, according to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

As in their previous matches in South Africa, Spain attacked relentlessly in Durban, clinging to the ball as the German midfield struggled to repeat the flowing moves that had crushed England and the widely fancied Argentina.

Man of the match Xavi was at the heart of Spain's best attacks, spraying the ball to the flanks and firing long penetrative, passes as German heads sagged.

He also delivered the corner that Carles Puyol headed powerfully past Manuel Neuer to hand Spain their first World Cup final appearance in 13 campaigns.