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Viva Espana! Fans toast Spain's first final as Germans are left crying in their beer

At least the German fans had some quality beers to cry into when Carles Puyol smashed a header home to put the Spaniards into their first-ever World Cup final.

Attending a special function organised by the German Embassy, Dublin man Peter Davitt, of Drumcondra, was cheering on his wife Barbara's native team.

Accompanied by their daughter Kim, who was wrapped in the German flag, Barbara, who is originally from Hattingen, told the Herald they were back home in Germany last weekend cheering on the team in their 4-0 victory against Argentina.

"It was wonderful. It was a great experience," Barbara said.

She admitted she was somewhat relieved Ireland didn't qualify for South Africa.

"I wouldn't have known what to do if Germany were to meet Ireland, so I am glad it's not the case," she said.

Down the road in Fitzsimons bar, the cheers of "Espana, Espana" could be heard out on the street.

Inside, hundreds of German and Spanish fans were gathered around the big screen imploring their teams to go all the way.

A group of German school students dressed in traditional Bavarian costume were cheering Mesut Ozil at the top of the bar.

Did they think their team could go all the way? "Yeah sure," exclaimed Hannah Utz.

With no score at half time, the Spanish came agonisingly close with numerous shots on the German goal from Xabi Alonso and David Villa.

And so the Spanish fans were growing in confidence -- boosted by the statistics of Spain's 11 shots on goal compared with Germany's two.

Friends Pili Arago Sanchez Jerez and Beatrice Segura, from Granola in Southern Spain, predicted their team would win.



Brilliant

"They have been playing very well. It's a good match as both teams are not afraid to play and they're not defending all the time," Beatrice told the Herald.

"David Villa is having a brilliant tournament and goalkeeper Casillas is brilliant," Pili said.

Carles Puyol's goal in the 72nd minute didn't come as too much of a surprise since Spain came tantalisingly close to scoring on numerous occasions.

Julian Gay-de-Montella, who is from Barcelona but has been lliving in Dublin for almost three years, was jubilant with his team's victory.

"It's become something of a tradition for us to come to Fitzsimon's whenever Spain's playing. They always win when we come here," he said.

Not surprisingly, he's planning a return visit for this Sunday's final against the Dutch.

jlast@herald.ie


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