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Puyol heads dazzling Spain into its first-ever World Cup final

07-08-2010 15:27 BJT Special Report:World Cup 2010 |

DURBAN, South Africa, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Barcelona defender Carles Puyol's powerful header lift European champions Spain to its first-ever FIFA World Cup final here Wednesday, beating Germany 1-0 in the semis.

Spain's Carles Puyol (C) celebrates his goal with Sergio Ramos (L), David Villa (L2), Xabi Alonso (R2) and Gerard Pique during the 2010 World Cup semi-final match against Germany in Durban, South Africa, July 7, 2010. Spain won 1-0.(Xinhua/Xu Suhui) 
Spain's Carles Puyol (C) celebrates his goal with Sergio Ramos (L), David Villa 
(L2), Xabi Alonso (R2) and Gerard Pique during the 2010 World Cup semi-final 
match against Germany in Durban, South Africa, July 7, 2010. Spain won 1-0.(Xinhua/Xu Suhui)

"We deserve this but we want more," said Spain striker David Villa, who is tied with Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder for the tournament scoring lead with five goals each. "We are happy to be in the final, that was our objective, but now we want to be champions."

"We've shown that in the big moments we can grow even more," Villa said. "We should have scored more goals, but one from Puyol has put us in the final."

Andres Iniesta's dribble earned a corner for Spain and onrushing Puyol jumped high to hammer Xavi's cross into the net in the 73rd minute.

In previous World Cup finals, Spain's best result was the fourth finisher in 1950.

In the final in Johannesburg on July 11, Spain will meet the Netherlands, who beat Uruguay 3-2 on Tuesday.

"From defence through to attack I think we played a great game," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. "We've got another game in front of us, let's see if we are able to control the ball. We're in good shape physically, so let's see if we can win."

Germany, who whitewashed Argentina 4-0 in the quarterfinal, have to vie for the third place with Uruguay in Port Elizabeth on July 10.

The last encounter between Spain and Germany was in the Euro 2008 final. Spain won 1-0 thanks to a Fernando Torres strike. But Torres, who has not scored a single goal so far in the World Cup, sat on the bench in the first half. Barcelona forward Pedro replaced him as the starter.

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