Historic triumph in Vienna for classy Spain
Football final ends well for Spain30 June 2008
VIENNA - Spain won their second European title in fine style on Sunday, deservedly beating dull Germany 1-0 in Vienna, on a goal from Fernando Torres.
The handsome win culminates a wonderful Euro 2008 for Spain, who have won five games and drawn one, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three.
This was Spain's first international triumph since 1964, when the European Nations Cup, as it was called, was much less important than it is today.
Curiously, this was the first game in which Spain, preferring an intelligent counter-attacking strategy, did not dominate possession.
Luis Aragones' young team only had 48 percent of possession, but nonetheless created countless chances and should arguably have scored more goals.
Germany, in contrast, failed to create a single clear chance for themselves. True to tradition, however, they battled until the bitter end, despite their fatigue and frustration.
Germany made an aggressive start, determined not to let Spain dominate, but lacked the craft to create clear chances.
Spain slowly but surely got their act together and almost went ahead in the 14th minute, when German keeper Jens Lehmann had to keep out a deflection from defender Christoph Metzelder.
Nine minutes later Torres headed a Sergio Ramos centre against Lehmann's post.
The only goal came in the 33rd minute. The majestic Xavi Hernandez played a tempting through ball for Torres, who powered his way past Philipp Lahm and beat the slow Lehmann with a clever chip.
Germany adopted a more direct approach in the second half, but with captain Michael Ballack not looking a hundred percent fit -- and with striker Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose well marked -- they were always travelling more in hope than expectation.
[dpa / Expatica]