Football

Spain knocked out of World Cup by red hot Chile

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Reigning World Cup winners Spain were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup at the Maracana as Chile ran wild in a 2-0 win.

As defending champions, Spain were looking to be the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the famous trophy. Unfortunately, following a 5-1 drubbing by the Netherlands, this game with Chile was a must-win - but the Spaniards weren't able to comply.

Eduardo Vargas popped up for the first goal after a well worked move from Chile that ended with the striker taking the ball past Iker Casillas and toe poking into the net as the despairing Sergio Ramos slid in. 

Chile's second came when a poor punched clearance by Casillas from a Chile freekick went straight to Charles Aranguiz, who scored well with the outside of his boot.

Spain's Sergio Busquets had a perfect opportunity to pull the deficit back to one however was the wrong man in the right place as he side footed wide from five yards. Spain couldn't recover in the end and became the first team to be knocked out of the World Cup.

Spain had the first good chance of the match when Diego Costa ran across the edge of the box and screwed a shot so wide it didn't go out of play. Andres Iniesta picked up the wayward ball and crossed it in only for Claudio Bravo to make a smart save at the feet of Xabi Alonso.

Alonso was at fault for Chile's opener as he lost the ball on the half way line allowing Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez to link up fantastically to slice through Spain's back-line and setup Vargas to score on 19 minutes.

Chile won a free-kick, two minutes before half time, on the edge of the Spanish box. Barcelona's enigmatic winger Sanchez took it, which was tame; however Real Madrid's second-choice keeper Casillas could only punch the ball straight back into the danger zone and failed to save Aranguiz's well placed effort. From the replay it seemed apparent that Casillas should have at least caught the shot.

Spain's style of play, tika-taka, has given them a lot of success over the years and has been mainly based on the paralleled greatness of Barcelona. However tonight's performance by La Roja seemed flat, complacent and lacked pace. Chile played the opposite completing quick one and two touch passes and each player was solid when it came to pressing and closing down the Spaniards.

This result means the end of an era for an aging Spain side that had won three major tournaments in a row up until this point; Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Former England international Danny Mill said on BBC Radio 5 Live: "David Villa, Xavi, Fernando Torres, you look at the Spain team and you think there are six or seven players who could all step down.

"In players like Isco, Juan Mata and Cesc Fabregas there are still a lot of players coming through at the top level, you also expect David De Gea to be around for a long time, so Spain will come strong again but it's a big ask for the youngsters to come in and replace what was maybe an ageing squad with a little bit of complacency and a lack of desire."

Former France and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry made the point: "I've been in that position with France in 2002 - going out as holders - and it's not fun. You just want to hide. Spain gave us so much pleasure, you feel sorry for them. Give credit to Chile - what a team." 

Spain conceded two more goals in their first two group games, seven, than they had in their 12 previous tournament matches.

With this result it is also confirmed the Netherlands and Chile are the first teams through to the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup with six points each with a game left.

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Topics:
World Cup
Spain Football
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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