World Champions Spain tumbled out of the World Cup in the group stages on Wednesday after losing 2-0 to Chile, while their opponents advanced to the last-16.
Spain’s famed passing game failed against a high-tempo, tenacious Chile team at the famed Maracana stadium in Rio.
Eduardo Vargas tricked goalkeeper Iker Casillas into diving the wrong way, then shot into an unguarded goal in the 20th minute. Charles Aranguiz scored in the 43rd when the ball landed at his feet after Casillas punched out a free kick.
Spain’s second loss, after a 5-1 rout by the Netherlands, ended any hope of advancing. Chile and the Netherlands will both advance, regardless of who wins the game between them, after the latter beat Australia 3-2 in the Group B’s other game earlier on Wednesday.
Victorious Chile reached the last 16 along with the Netherlands and confirmed the pre-World Cup talk that they could advance deep into the tournament with a brilliantly disciplined and inspired display against a tired-looking Spanish side who go out along with Australia.
Spain face Australia in Curitiba on Monday bidding to avoid finishing bottom of Group B.
"We cannot complain we did not deserve to go out, they were better than us," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told Spanish TV.
"The team showed character, we pressed forward but we had little luck in front of goal. We were certainly inferior to our rivals here at the finals. It is not the moment to think about the future. Little by little we will make the necessary assessments."
Chile 'not here for a holiday'
Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, who had a fine match, was unsurprisingly in an upbeat mood.
"Spain came with a lot of desperation after their first match, but we showed we are at a very good level," he said.
"We didn't come for a holiday, we came to fight for the championship."
Chile, who had never beaten Spain in 10 previous meetings, looked sharp and confident from the start and even faster and more fluid in the second half.
Spain had their chances, notably through Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba late in the game, but never remotely looked like saving the match.
Spain became the third champions in the last four World Cups to be eliminated at the first hurdle and their departure will almost certainly end the long international careers of their greats Xavi, goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso.
Xavi, for so long the fulcrum of the side that won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and their first World Cup in South Africa four years ago, did not even make the starting lineup after the Dutch debacle.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-06-18