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July 12, 2010

2010 World Cup comes to a close

After a month of matches, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament is over, with Spain claiming its first ever trophy, the Netherlands placing second, and Germany taking third place. 32 teams came to South Africa last month, and the eyes of the world were upon them as television and online viewership broke records, and in many places productivity dropped sharply when matches were being played. Collected here are photos from the second half of the tournament (see earlier entries: 1, 2, 3), the action on the fields, and the reactions of those following the games in both South Africa and their home countries, as we bid farewell to the 2010 World Cup. (44 photos total)

A woman takes a photograph of the the Cape Town stadium seen from the Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, July 2, 2010. Cape Town stadium hosted eight of the World Cup matches this year. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima kicks the ball during the 2010 World Cup round of 16 match Paraguay vs. Japan on June 29, 2010 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria. (CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images) #

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan celebrates after scoring against the United States in extra time during a 2010 World Cup second round match at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg June 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder) #

Ghana's defender Samuel Inkoom lies on the pitch during the 2010 World Cup round of 16 football match USA vs. Ghana on June 26, 2010 at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg. (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A USA fan looks dejected as her team loses in a World Cup Round of Sixteen match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Ian Walton/Getty Images) #

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (top) evades a tackle by Brazil's Juan during a World Cup Group G soccer match at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban June 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Yves Herman) #

A supporter of Spain with the national colors on his face blows a vuvuzela as he arrives at Ellis Park stadium before the 2010 World Cup quarter-final football match between Paraguay and Spain on July 3, 2010. (Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images) #

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer watches as the ball crosses the line during a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against England at Free State stadium in Bloemfontein June 27, 2010. England were denied an equalizing goal when a Frank Lampard shot from 2O meters out hit the crossbar and dropped well over the line. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh) #

Paraguay's Roque Santa Cruz (right) and Japan's Yuki Abe jump for the ball during a World Cup second round soccer match at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria June 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci) #

Fans of Chile's national soccer team celebrate after their 2010 World Cup soccer match against Spain, in Valparaiso city, Chile on June 25, 2010. Chile qualified for the round of 16 of the World Cup despite losing 2-1 to Spain in their last Group H match. (REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez) #

A young fan of Brazil cries as his team plays against the Netherlands during a World Cup quarter final soccer match while watching the game on a giant screen at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Friday, July 2, 2010. Brazil lost 2-1. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #

Photographers adjust their remote cameras before the a World Cup Round of 16 match between Paraguay and Japan on June 29, 2010 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Chile's defender Gonzalo Jara shows his dejection at the end of their 2010 World Cup Round of 16 football match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 28, 2010. Brazil won 3-0. (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images) #

A fan of Spain smiles before the 2010 World Cup Group H match between Chile and Spain at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria June 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez) #

A Germany soccer fan is thrown up in the air during the screening of the 2010 World Cup second round soccer match between Germany and England, in the German city of Hamburg on June 27, 2010. (REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen) #

Argentina's Carlos Tevez scores a goal past Mexico's goalkeeper Oscar Perez during a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 27, 2010. (REUTERS/David Gray) #

Brazil's Robinho (center) argues with Netherlands' Mark van Bommel next to Nigel de Jong (left) and Andre Ooijer during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match in Port Elizabeth July 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #

Netherlands supporters cheer prior to the start of the 2010 World Cup quarter-final match Netherlands vs. Brazil on July 2, 2010 at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images) #

Argentina's striker Carlos Tevez argues with an assistant referee after Argentina's striker Gonzalo Higuain (not pictured) scored a denied goal during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final match Argentina vs. Germany on July 3, 2010 at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

Fans celebrate Germany's fourth goal against Argentina while watching a 2010 World Cup match on a giant screen in Kuala Lumpur July 3, 2010. Germany won 4-0. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad) #

A Uruguayan supporter crosses her fingers as she watches the World Cup semifinal match between Uruguay and the Netherlands on an outdoor screen set up at Independence Square in downtown Montevideo, Uruguay on July 6, 2010. (PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Netherlands' midfielder Wesley Sneijder walks the pitch at the end of the 2010 World Cup semi-final football match between Uruguay and Netherlands on July 6, 2010 at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. The Netherlands advanced to the final winning 3-2. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images) #

Uruguay's Diego Forlan scores a goal during their 2010 World Cup semi-final soccer match against Netherlands at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez) #

A Uruguayan fan reacts at the window of his apartment with a poster of Uruguay's national soccer team striker Diego Forlan below, after the World Cup semi-final match between Uruguay and the Netherlands, in Montevideo, Uruguay on July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Andres Stapff) #

Netherlands' John Heitinga (right) celebrates with Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben (left) and Dirk Kuyt (2nd left) after winning their World Cup semi-final soccer match against Uruguay at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) #

A general view taken from the stands during the 2010 World Cup semi-final football match between Germany and Spain at Moses Mabhida stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban. (RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spanish fans react as they watch the 2010 World Cup semi-final match between Spain and Germany during an outdoor televised screening in Madrid July 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Andrea Comas) #

Fans of the German national football team cheer during the public viewing event in the German city of Cologne on July 7, 2010, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi final match between Germany and Spain in Durban, South Africa. (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spain's Carles Puyol (4th right) scores a goal past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the 2010 World Cup semi-final soccer match at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban July 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh) #

Spain's defender Carles Puyol is blocked by Germany's striker Miroslav Klose during the 2010 World Cup semi-final football match between Germany and Spain on July 7, 2010 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images) #

Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, third right, fails to block a header by Germany's Sami Khedira, not visible, during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Germany and Uruguay at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, July 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Roberto Candia) #

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, left, shakes hands with Uruguay's Diego Lugano following the World Cup third-place soccer match between Germany and Uruguay at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, July 10, 2010. Germany defeated Uruguay 3-2. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) #

Two year-old octopus Paul, the so-called "octopus oracle" predicts Spain's 2010 soccer World Cup final victory over The Netherlands by opening and choosing a mussel from a glass box decorated with the Spanish national flag instead of a glass box with the Dutch flag, at the Sea Life Aquarium in the German city of Oberhausen on July 9, 2010. The octopus has became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay) #

Prior to the World Cup Final, a helicopter dropped orange flowers from the sky above Museumplein in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where 180,000 Dutch people watched the match. (© Arnoud Ens) #

Netherlands fans form a sea of orange as they watch the 2010 World Cup final between Netherlands and Spain on a large screen near the Rijksmuseum on July 11, 2010 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Christopher Lee/Getty Images) #

Nigel De Jong of the Netherlands tackles Xabi Alonso of Spain during the 2010 World Cup final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #

Spain's Andres Iniesta (right) shoots to score the winning goal past Netherland's goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg during their 2010 World Cup final soccer match at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg July 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Michael Kooren) #

Spain's striker Fernando Llorente carries teammate David Villa who holds the trophy after the award ceremony following the 2010 FIFA World Cup match between the Netherlands and Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto. Spain won 1-0. (CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (center) raises the trophy handed to him by FIFA President Sepp Blatter (4th right) and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (3rd right) as Spain's football team players celebrate winning the 2010 World Cup on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Supporters of the Spanish team celebrate after the World Cup final football match Spain against Netherlands on July 11, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Supporters of the Spain's team celebrate after Spain won the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands on July 11, 2010 in Barcelona. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spain's Andres Iniesta lifts the World Cup trophy after their final match victory over Netherlands at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg July 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko) #

Fireworks light up the sky over Soccer City stadium in Soweto after the 2010 World Cup football final on July 11, 2010. (Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images) #

South African Lucas Mahuca, 3, kicks a ball as he plays soccer in a field next to his house in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) #

 
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