deserved to win: Iker
The last kiss
will dominate world soccer: Bosque
not sorry for rough-arm tactics
India in Sri Lanka
enters tie-up for CWG
Delhi to fight for quarterfinal berth
sanctions pension for 4
Brand ambassador’s name to be out soon
Johannesburg, July 12
After a patchy season for Real Madrid, Casillas had come under fire for a perceived lack of focus following the 1-0 defeat by Switzerland in their opening Group H match.
The presence in South Africa of glamourous Sara Carbonero, who works for Spanish broadcaster Telecinco and conducts post-match interviews, was seen as a distraction but “Saint Iker” has silenced his critics in emphatic style.
Two years after leading Spain to glory at Euro 2008, the 29-year-old has become the Iberian nation’s most successful captain, pulling off a string of vital saves in their run to the World Cup final, where Andres Iniesta’s goal deep into extra time gave them a dramatic 1-0 win over Netherlands on Sunday.
“I am over the moon,” he told reporters at the Soccer City stadium, moments after breaking down in an ecstatic mixture of tears and laughter at the final whistle and triumphantly lifting the gilded trophy.
“We have deserved this from the start to finish,” he said. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me,” he added. Casillas has amassed 111 appearances for the national team since making his debut in June 2000 at the age of 19 and is closing in on fellow keeper Andoni Zubizarreta’s record of 126.
He was awarded the Golden Glove prize for best goalkeeper in South Africa and it is tough to pick out the best, or most important, save he pulled off over Spain’s seven matches.
Arjen Robben had a chance to put the Dutch ahead when clean through on goal in the second half of the final but Casillas somehow got an outstretched foot to the winger’s shot and the ball flew just past the post to safety.
The penalty save against Paraguay in the quarter-finals was a defining moment and the way his team mates sprinted across the pitch to celebrate with him at the final whistle was proof of the respect and affection in which he is held.
“I don’t think that we really know what we have done tonight,” Casillas said before the players flew home to Madrid straight after the match to join in the celebrations. Casillas has come a long way since helping Spain win the Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria in 1999, when current team mates Xavi and Carlos Marchena were also in the side.
He has won four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues with Real and potentially has another decade left before retirement. Casillas said the World Cup was for Carbonero and his family, as well as the millions of fans watching in Spain.
“I have been through a lot and have had a lot of setbacks,” he said.”Sara has been having really bad time these past few days, so I dedicate this to her and my family.” — Reuters
Spain create history
Johannesburg, July 12
The defeat was heartbreaking for the Dutch, who were down to 10 men after John Heitinga was sent off in extra time. It was their third World Cup final loss after 1974 and 1978. European champions Spain had looked the more assured early on in the clash at Soccer City as a nervous-looking Dutch side ceded territory to their slick opponents.
Stekelenburg was forced into a save after five minutes when Sergio Ramos headed a Xavi cross goalwards while Spain forward David Villa crashed a volley into the side netting with the goal looming.
But a series of freekicks and bookings, including two strong challenges by Dutch midfielders Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel, shook Spain out of their rhythm and stopped them from producing the swift-passing game that got them to the final.
Netherlands offered little in attack and the nearest they came to a first-half goal was a bizarre incident when Gregory van der Wiel attempted to give the ball back in an act of sportsmanship. The fullback's 60-metre punt bounced up and over Spain captain Iker Casillas, forcing the startled keeper to leap and tip it to safety. The game continued with frequent stoppages and few chances, until Wesley Sneijder split the Spanish defence with a perfectly-weighted ball into the path of Arjen Robben after 62 minutes only for Casillas to save brilliantly with his feet.
In a lively end to normal time Villa had a shot blocked in front of the line, an unmarked Ramos headed wildly over the bar from five metres out and Puyol was lucky to escape punishment after hauling down a furious Robben. In extra time it was Stekelenburg's turn to save with his feet when substitute Fabregas was sent clear by Iniesta. Netherlands had to play with 10 men for the last 10 minutes of extra time when John Heitinga was sent off for hauling down Iniesta on the edge of the box. — Reuters
Johannesburg, July 12
The game may have been anything but elegant with 13 yellow cards and one red card for Dutchman John Heitinga, but Del Bosque said Spain had been true to their nature and played with flair throughout the tournament.
“I think our effort, our flair ... is never ending, that will last forever. We have excellent players in this squad and they demonstrate that every time they go on the pitch,” Del Bosque told reporters.
“Netherlands played a good game. I mean, yes, it was rough but that is part of football. I think in this final, we saw offensive football. Both sides were pressing.”
Andres Iniesta grabbed the winner for Spain four minutes from the end of extra time as the game edged towards penalties with Netherlands reduced to 10 men after Heitinga was sent off with a second booking in the first half of extra time.
The Spaniards made few changes from their 2008 Euro Championship triumph and when Del Bosque took over after that win, he made sure his players knew he was determined to follow the line set by his predecessor Luis Aragones.
“This World Cup title does draw from what we did in 2008,” he said. “It is the continuity and continuation of players who were on that squad. We have a very good legacy and tried to respect that legacy. We simply followed on the lines of what was done back then. We only brought some players in to the squad to refresh it,” said Del Bosque. — Reuters
Johannnesburg, July 12
The Dutch will have to shoulder the blame after one of the roughest World Cup finals on record, won 1-0 by Spain, produced 47 fouls, 13 yellow cards and one red.
Led by their bruising midfield enforcer Mark van Bommel, the Dutch used physical intimidation to try and knock the Spanish off their elegant passing game.
Van Bommel, who committed five of the Dutch’s 28 fouls, was lucky not to get a first half red card for slicing through Andres Iniesta’s left leg.
Nigel de Jong could also have followed with a chest-high tackle on Xabi Alonso in a Dutch display which at times bordered on brutal.
It worked up to a point as the Spanish were knocked out of their stride for the first hour.
However, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, while refusing to directly criticise the Dutch tactics, said the effort required might have taken its toll on his team’s opponents.
“I congratulate our opponents who gave us a very hard time and never let us get comfortable,” said Del Bosque.
“It’s very difficult to play for 90 minutes at the rhythm they imposed, they had a great physical effort and we dominated extra time.” Van Marwijk said: “It’s still our intention to play beautiful football, but we were facing very good opponents.”
“We committed fouls but so did both teams and that may be regrettable for a final. It’s not our style but then again you play a match to win because it’s a final, there’s a lot of emotion, you saw that at the end of the match. I would love to have won the match even with a not-so-beautiful football,” he added. — Reuters
We were caught in a Webb, claim Dutch
Dutch stars Arjen Robben and Nigel de Jong launched a bitter attack on English referee Howard Webb after Holland had succumbed to Andres Iniesta's injury-time winner in the World Cup final.
Spain lifted their first ever World Cup after a largely forgettable affair in which Holland had John Heitinga dismissed in extra-time for a second booking while seven others were yellow carded in a niggly affair at Soccer City yesterday.
And as the Dutch tried to hold out, Iniesta struck to condemn the Netherlands to their third World Cup final defeat in three appearances.
But Robben was incensed when seven minutes from normal time Carles Puyol escaped punishment when he seemed to impede the Dutch flyer as he raced in on Iker Casillas’s goal.
Puyol appeared to use his arm to hinder Robben’s flow and Casillas came out to block the striker, who had gamely tried to remain on his feet. “As a player, you always try to keep going, but for them to score a goal (four) minutes before the end was tough. It made things very difficult for us,” said the Bayern Munich star.
“We kept trying to get something out of the game, but the dressing room was a pretty depressing place. We sat there in the dressing room and only talked about some of the refereeing decisions. There were a few things which were hard to take, but there is no point talking about them now.” — AFP
India in Sri Lanka
Colombo, July 12
"The All-India Selection Committee has picked Munaf Patel as his replacement in the Indian team that will be playing the Test series in Sri Lanka. Munaf will join the squad at the earliest," he added. Sreesanth was ruled out after an MRI scan today revealed he has a ligament tear, a development which has come as a big blow for the India's already depleted pace attack in absence of spearhead Zaheer Khan who is nursing a shoulder injury. With Sreesanth too being ruled out, Ishant Sharma would have to lead the pace attack, which also includes Zaheer's replacement Abhimanyu Mithun.
Meanwhile, it was probably the best birthday gift for Munaf, who turned 27 today. The lanky Ikhar-born Mumbai pacer has played 12 Tests so far, his last being the match against New Zealand in Wellington last year. India are scheduled to play a three-day warm-up match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI here from tomorrow.
Will miss injured players: Dhoni
The absence of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth will be a big setback for the team, according to cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who reckons it will provide an opportunity for young pacers to prove their worth in the Test series against Sri Lanka. Zaheer has been ruled out of the series due to a shoulder injury, while Sreesanth has sprained a ligament of his left knee and will be replaced by Munaf Patel in the squad. “It has happened with us in the past. In the past also, we have lost our main bowlers just before an important series. We will definitely miss Zaheer and Sreesanth during the series,” Dhoni told reporters here. He, however, felt that the situation was an ideal opportunity for non-regular bowlers of the team to prove their worth. “It is a great platform for young bowlers to prove their mettle and seal their place in the side,” Dhoni said. To make matters worse, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is down with a fever and has been ruled out of the practice match. “Harbhajan is not playing tomorrow. He has got a viral infection but he is expected to be fit for the first Test,” Dhoni said.
The absence of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth will be a big setback for the team, according to cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who reckons it will provide an opportunity for young pacers to prove their worth in the Test series against Sri Lanka. Zaheer has been ruled out of the series due to a shoulder injury, while Sreesanth has sprained a ligament of his left knee and will be replaced by Munaf Patel in the squad. “It has happened with us in the past. In the past also, we have lost our main bowlers just before an important series. We will definitely miss Zaheer and Sreesanth during the series,” Dhoni told reporters here.
He, however, felt that the situation was an ideal opportunity for non-regular bowlers of the team to prove their worth. “It is a great platform for young bowlers to prove their mettle and seal their place in the side,” Dhoni said. To make matters worse, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is down with a fever and has been ruled out of the practice match. “Harbhajan is not playing tomorrow. He has got a viral infection but he is expected to be fit for the first Test,” Dhoni said. — PTI
Luxor enters tie-up for CWG
Chandigarh, July 12 The company is synonymous with the best systems, policies and culture providing a benchmark for the other players. Luxor has several milestones to its credit being the first organised initiative in this largely unorganised sector, under the able guidance and foresight of DK Jain.
Chandigarh, July 12
The company is synonymous with the best systems, policies and culture providing a benchmark for the other players. Luxor has several milestones to its credit being the first organised initiative in this largely unorganised sector, under the able guidance and foresight of DK Jain. — TNS
Bhopal, July 12
For Jharkhand, Roshan scored two goals in the fourth and 40th minutes, while Tintus and Arvind hit one goal each in the 63rd and 68th minutes to ensure their team’s victory. Till breather, Jharkhand led 1-0. In another match, Amit struck three goals in the 11th, 43rd and 68th minutes, Mohit scored two goals in the 46th and 60th minutes, while Praveen put the ball in the net in the 16th minute for Delhi. At the end of the first half, Delhi led 2-0.
In a Pool ‘H’ fixture, SAIL humiliated Uttarakhand 10-0. Amit Yadav hit three goals in the 32nd, 56th and 61st minutes, while Sunil (13th and 42nd minutes) and Adnan (51st and 60th minutes) scored two goals each for SAIL in their first match of the tournament. The other scorer for SAIL were captain Amit Karketta (43rd minute), Deepak (28th minute) and Mikhal (12th minute). Till breather, SAIL led 4-0. — PTI
Gill sanctions pension for 4
New Delhi, July 12 Saraswati Saha, who won a gold medal in the 2002 Asian Games, and Vadana Pandurang, who won a gold medal in the 1986 Asiad, will receive Rs 7,000 each per month. Pranab Kumar Roy, who won a silver medal in the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, and Allan Schofield, also a silver medallist in the 1978 Asiad, will get Rs 6,000 each. Gill has also sanctioned Rs 70,000 for Padma Chorol, a student of the Moravian Mission School,
New Delhi, July 12
Saraswati Saha, who won a gold medal in the 2002 Asian Games, and Vadana Pandurang, who won a gold medal in the 1986 Asiad, will receive Rs 7,000 each per month.
Pranab Kumar Roy, who won a silver medal in the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, and Allan Schofield, also a silver medallist in the 1978 Asiad, will get Rs 6,000 each. Gill has also sanctioned Rs 70,000 for Padma Chorol, a student of the Moravian Mission School, Leh.
New Delhi, July 12
Archery Association of India President VK Malhotra had proposed the name of Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, but the Organising Committee rejected the proposal.
In fact, Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of CWG 2010 Organising Committee, made it clear that face of the Delhi Games would not be an actor but a sportsperson. “Brand Ambassador for the Games will be a young sports personality,” Kalmadi had said in a press conference last month. Names of sportspersons like Vijender Singh and Mary Kom have been doing the rounds as possible contenders. Vijender won bronze in the 2008 Olympics, while Mary Kom has been a four-time World Champion. — PTI