World Cup 2014: Spain v Chile

SPA 0 – 2 CHI: Spain become only the 2nd reigning champions in World Cup history to exit at the group stages as their limp performance against Chile sends them home after two emphatic defeats. The manner of their defeat here will certainly grab the headlines and possibly bring an end to one of the most successful teams in modern international football. Pioneers of the tiki-taka and the 4-6 formation, Spain have delighted everyone in world football with their attractive short passing game and possession heavy football. But it has all come crashing down in a shockingly poor display this year in Brazil. No matter their result against Australia in their next game, the damage is done. It is hard to put a finger on why? With the majority of the squad enjoying successful seasons with Barcelona and the Madrid sides, Spain were many peoples favourites to retain their title they won so convincingly in South Africa. Chile, however, had other ideas and their performance was sensational – it will go down as their greatest ever win in a finals and give them the belief that they can go far into the tournament here in Brazil. Eduardo Vargas finished off a flowing team move to give Chile the lead midway through the first half. The talented Napoli forward has been excellent on loan at Valencia this season so Spain can’t say they didn’t know about his threat. Chile extended their lead just before half time when Charles Aranguiz, who had expertly set up Vargas for the first, fired the ball into the net after Spain captain Iker Casilas only beat away a free kick that he could have easily caught. It was a glaring error from the Real Madrid stopper who had a nightmare against the Netherlands also. Chile were ecstatic and coped well with the tame onslaught Spain mounted in the second half. Where do Spain go from here? I imagine Del Bosque may have had his time and there are questions about regulars like Casillas, Xavi and Torres. The Spanish football public will demand answers and changes. As for Chile, I feel like I have done them a disservice by concentrating so much on Spain here. Their game plan was tactically spot on and coach Jorge Sampaoli has shown he is a shrewd operator and not afraid to make big changes for the good of the team. Despite scoring and setting up a goal in their 3-1 win against Australia, luxury playmaker Jorge Valdivia was sacrificed for hardworking defensive midfielder Francisco Silva, who was excellent. With qualification to the second round assured, Chile will look to take the game to the Netherlands in the final game that will decide the group winners. Chile have nothing to lose, and that hits their style just fine!

Spain v Chile
Spain v Chile

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