DURBAN, South Africa ( TheStreet) -- Carles Puyol's powerful header in the 73rd minute was all Spain needed Wednesday to beat Germany, 1-0, to advance to its first World Cup final.

World Cup
Spain's Carles Puyol (5) scores on Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during their World Cup semifinal soccer match in Durban, South Africa, Wednesday.

The smooth passing of the 2008 European champions was too much for Germany, a team that many believed could have muscled its way to the title after thrashings of England and Argentina.

But sure-footed Spain controlled time of possession, 57 minutes to 43, and moved deliberately and artfully on the Germans' goal throughout the match. Germany had its chances, but appeared flummoxed frequently by the quicker Spanish side in a clean game that saw no yellow or red cards issued.

Spain will face the Netherlands for the trophy on Sunday in Johannesburg. The Dutch defeated Uruguay, 3-2, on Tuesday. The winner of Sunday's match will hoist a World Cup for the first time.

Written by William Hennelly in New York.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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