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The 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup proved to be a tournament of firsts the competition was held on African soil for the first time whilst European Champions Spain clinched their maiden World Cup trophy.

Group Stage

The hosts South Africa kicked off the tournament with a 1 1 draw against Mexico who qualified from Group A with Uruguay as France, ravaged by infighting, finished bottom with just one point.

The United States claimed top spot in Group C above England as the one time champions struggled through their group games. The highlight moment came when England goalkeeper Robert Green blundered to let a weak Clint Dempsey shot trickle into the net.

In Group E, the Netherlands showed their intent by storming to three victories out of three in a group containing Japan, Denmark and Cameroon.

Underdogs New Zealand were unbeaten in Group F whilst Italy slumped to the bottom of the group with just two points but it was Paraguay and Slovakia who qualified.

Gelson Fernandes struck for Switzerland as they stunned Spain on the first match day in Group H but the European Champions recovered to top the group and set up a clash with neighbors Portugal in the second round.

Last 16

Ghana held African hopes in the last 16 and they delighted the home continent with an extra time 2 1 victory against the United States. Asamoah Gyan was Ghana hero with a 93rd minute goal.

Germany were in impressive form beating England 4 1 as young attacker Thomas Muller scored a brace.

Wesley Sneijder was the Dutch hero as they overcame a stubborn Slovakian side to set up a quarter final clash with Brazil who comfortably beat South American rivals Chile 3 0.

Uruguay and Ghana served up a match full of drama and controversy. The African side dominated and went ahead at the end of the first half thanks to midfielder Sulley Muntari. Diego Forlan, who finished the tournament as joint top scorer, drew Uruguay level in the second half, which sent the match into extra time. In the last minute, Luis Suarez handled a goal bound header on the line which gave Gyan the chance to make history but he struck the crossbar with the resulting penalty. Uruguay won the penalty shoot out 4 2.

Argentina, boasting Barcelona star Lionel Messi, were thrashed 4 0 by Germany who had veteran striker Miroslav Klose in form as he bagged two goals.

Spain again sneaked through with a 1 0 victory against Paraguay thanks to another goal from Villa. The win marked the Mediterranean nation progression to their first semi final since 1950.

Semi s

Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave the Netherlands an early lead over Uruguay with a 35 yard strike until Forlan leveled before half time. The Dutch pulled clear in the second half thanks to goals from Sneijder and Arjen Robben to progress to the final.

It was a dogged affair and in keeping with their run to the final, Spain again triumphed 1 0.

Nigel de Jong was lucky to not see red for a kung fu like kick on Xabi Alonso, whilst Dutch defender John Heitinga was sent off in the second period of extra time.

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal following a flowing passing move just five minutes before a penalty shoot out to secure their first ever World Cup trophy.