SPAIN 0-2 CHILE
WEDNESDAY 18TH JUNE – RIO DE JANEIRO
Napoli man Eduardo Vargas gave Chile a 1-0 lead 20 minutes after kick off to unsettle the former World Champions. Spain were without reply as the South Americans struck again through Charles Aranguiz or Internacional. This consequently means Spain crash out of the World Cup after only two games and one goal.
The Maracana was all set for another night to remember as Spain needed to win against Chile to have any contingency of remaining in the competition. Del Bosque made two changes to his side that took a beating the Dutch too try and both conjure up a result and too disprove the rumours of the demise of tika-taka. Javi Martinez stepped in for Pique as an attempt to craft a more reliable partnership with Sergio Ramos. Regular Xavi also made way for speedier energetic Pedro who would play on the right in a 4-2-3-1. Meanwhile Chile trotted out in an attacking 3-5-2.
Chile attacked from the whistle as Sampaoli promised. Barcelona boy Alexis Sanchez spearheaded the first move allowing the Chile side to firmly place themselves on the front foot. An effort to emulate the problems the Netherlands caused for Spain. Once Spain had the ball they struggled to make much progress as the Chilean wing backs Isla and Mena pressed high. Meaning Spain were allowed very little space and time when in possession. Spain’s first came in the form of Sergio Ramos who headed wide on a Xabi Alonso free kick. The next chance came minutes later when Chile were caught in the turnover. Diego Costa; yet to make a real impact for his chosen nation raced across the box only to go too far and his ball across the box was less than threatening.
Despite battling strongly in a commendable opening 15 minutes, Chile only had 36% possession, this proved futile when Eduardo Vargas put his team in front, after a selfless pass from Aranguiz across the six yard box. Spain were facing defeat in the face as Chile deservedly took the lead in the Maracana. Spain increased the tempo of the passing as attempt to strive back into the game. This was only matched by the opposition as Chile pressed high up the pitch and worked hard to close down the Spanish.
Xabi Alonso’s yellow card half an hour in epitomised the Spanish performance thus far. A rash challenge of frustration, that didn’t successfully win the ball. Chile were on top before the break and a feeble save by Casillas meant Charles Aranguiz could poke in a second from the edge of the box. Spain were 2-0 down going into the break. Heartbreak loomed.
The poor dictation of Xabi Alonso meant Athletico Madrid midfielder Koke was brought on at half time. On 52 minutes Sergio Busquets could have altered the weight of the game if he met the superb overhead cross from teammate Diego Costa but it was not to be. This dignified a more energetic driven Spain effort to steer the game back into control. But the spell of potential seemed to dissipate when challenged by Chile on the break. Isla narrowly missed an angled tap in before a Sanchez surge didn’t have the required finish to wholly butcher the World Champions.
In the closing stages Spain were too tired to overcome an organised back five and a deposit of two goals. Bravo was provoked into a couple of saves, but far from challenging for the Real Sociedad keeper. Geiger blew the full time whistle on the game after six minutes added time. But it wasn’t to be. Chile’s performance commendable, Spain’s sloppy.
Chile will now face the Dutch in what now is seemingly the battle for the top of group B. While Spain cannot achieve anything, but will play a impressive Australian side in Estadio Joaquim Americo Guimares.
SPAIN: Casillas, Azpilicueta, Javi Martínez, Ramos, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Koke 46), Iniesta, Pedro (Santi Cazorla 76), Silva, Diego Costa (Torres 64).
BOOKINGS: Xabi Alonso 40.
CHILE: Bravo, Mena, Isla, Silva, Jara, Medel, Vidal (Carmona 88), Vargas (Valdivia 85), Aranguiz (Gutiérrez 64), Dias, Sanchez.
GOALS: Vargas 20, Aranguiz 43.
BOOKINGS: Vidal 26, Mena 61.
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