In a shock befitting of the drama of this World Cup defending champions Spain are out of the competition after losing 2-0 to Chile in Rio De Janeiro.
After their 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Netherlands in their first game Spain needed something from tonight’s game but the South Americans were too good for Vincente Del Bosque’s men.
It only took quarter of an hour for Chile to take the lead with a superb team goal. Alexis Sanchez found Charles Aranguiz with a neat pass before he squared the ball to Eduardo Vargas in the box, Vargas sidestepped goalkeeper Iker Casillas with his first touch and scored with his second.
Questions will be asked of Casillas, who was culpable for a couple of the Netherlands’ goals in their first game, after Vargas went past him with such ease.
Many will talk about Tim Cahill’s magnificent volley earlier today as the goal of the tournament so far but, while this goal lacked the explosive finish, it could be a contender for the title due to the intricate teamwork in the build up.
With Spain struggling to create an real chances Chile made it two just before the halftime whistle and, again, Casillas should have done better. The goalkeeper elected to punch a straightforward free-kick from Sanchez which he could have caught, the punch didn’t go far enough and fell for Aranguiz who had time to compose himself before toe punting the ball into the net from ten yards.
Spain went in at halftime knowing that they had just 45 minutes to save their World Cup campaign and to do so they would find at least two goals. They came out playing with more urgency on the other side of the break.
Diego Costa had a chance five minutes into the half but his shot was blocked by a wall of Chile defenders. Minutes later Spain missed a glorious chance to get back into the game.
Sergio Ramos’ free-kick was unconvincingly punched away by Chile keeper Claudio Bravo, Coasta picked it up in the area and his overhead kick found Sergio Busquets in space yards from goal at the back post with an empty net to aim at, unbelievably he missed.
After Busquets showed the world why he has never scored an international goal in nearly 70 appearances it was Chile who had the lion’s share of the chances.
It should have been three after 70 minutes when Mauricio Isla slid in at the back post to try and get onto the end of a cross, the 26 year old could only put the ball over. Ultimately it didn’t matter.
A lackluster Spain didn’t really threaten to pull a single goal back let alone the two they needed and when the five minutes of added time where over so was Spain’s World Cup. The result also means that Australia, the tournaments lowest ranked team, are also out leaving the Netherlands and Chile to advance to the next round from Group B.
It’s the first time in the history that Chile have beaten Spain after a total of 11 games. It’s the fifth time in the history of the World Cup that the defending champions have been eliminated at the group stages.
For Spain the inquest will get underway when the dust settles. The team that played in Brazil were a shadow of the side that won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012.
The result also means that local villain Costa, who controversially chose to play for Spain over Brazil, exits the stage boasting unimpressive stats. He only touched the ball 21 times in the whole tournament and of the five shots he had none were on target.