This game was the day that defending World Cup champion, Spain, was to supposed to redeem itself from the loss against Netherlands. With Chile winning its first game against Australia (3-1), Spain had to beat Chile in order to advance to the 16th round. Well, sorry Spain. Your time is over.
As Spain played against Chile in order to win points for 16th round, nothing but brutal defeat awaited them. Spain lost to Chile 0-2 and instead Chile took the ticket instead. Yet, it was sort of expected to see Spain lose to Chile because their weaknesses had been exposed. Netherlands’ victory against Spain (5-1) provided a crucial opportunity for Chile and La Roja usurped that opportunity really well. What’s even worse is that del Bosque didn’t really change his game plan after the defeat from the Netherlands. Basically, everyone knew how Spain will play against them.
*Writer’s Note: I feel bad for Diego Costa because his debut for World Cup ended with Spain in elimination. Only if he didn’t naturalize, he would have been a great one-top player under Scolari’s guidance (with Neymar, Oscar, and Hulk helping him up, Costa is such a good choice!). But again, it’s his choice so why should I bother.
As the game began, Chile had the ball for first few minutes and threatened Spain’s defense a lot. But as Spain got settled in, it really seemed like Spain’s tiki taka was pulling through for the team. It really looked like short passes and attempts to exhaust other players were working.
But, La Furia Roja knew better than that. Chile counterattacked on 19’ as Aranguiz gave a long cross which Vargas connected it to the goal. This was clearly Spanish backline’s fault as they completely let Vargas open at the penalty box. That goal really hit Spain as they try to redeem themselves from the humiliating loss against Holland.
However, Spain conceded another goal as Casillas made a critical mistake in such a crucial moment. Sanchez was given a free kick after drawing a foul a few yards outside the box on 42’. As Sanchez kicked the ball, Casillas deflected it out but the ball flew to Aranguiz and he put the ball inside the goal easily. Again, Casillas screwed the team up with his mistake. After that, without much action, the first half was concluded with Chile leading the game 2-0.
When the second half started, Spain came out with more energy. The movement improved but lacked finishing touches. Spain showed more urgency as their passes got quicker, but without much accuracy. Overall, Spain could have had a chance to recover if they calmed down a little bit.
On 52nd minute, Diego Costa had a chance to recover as he bicycled the rebound from Ramos and then to Busquets, but Busquets had to blow the game. Without a lot of movement going on, Fernando Torres came in for Costa at 62nd. Despite hopes of Torres possibly replicating his 2008 magic, he produced little to nothing. At the second half, Spain started to show decent plays with their possessions but somehow they just wouldn’t connect to the goal.
As the game went on, the Spanish players were looking fed up. With Chilean players dragging the time by pretending that they were injured, more frustration built inside Spanish players. As a result, their touch started to look sloppy as well. Even, Iniesta hasn’t really shown a solid performance. But as the game neared to the end, Chile fans chanted “eliminando”. Even fans knew that it was too late for Spain to change the tide. Looking how Chilean players were passing the ball, they seemed to be happy with 2-0 although more would be better (there is an old saying “more the merrier”).
And it happened; Chile is now set to go to the round of 16 and Spain is now officially eliminated from the World Cup. Adios Espana. Maybe next time when you have something better than tiki taka.
- Spain: Casillas; Jordi Alba, Sergio Ramos, Javi Martinez, Cesar Azliplicueta; Busquets, Xavi Alonso, David Silva, Iniesta, Pedro; Diego Costa.
- Chile: Bravo: Gary Medel, F. Silva, G. Jara, M. Isla; Aranguiz, M. Diaz, E. Mena, E. Vargas, Arturo Vidal; Alexis Sanchez.
Man of the Match
- This one goes to Aranguiz whatsoever. This Chilean midfielder gave a beautiful pass for a goal for Chile. And then, he was able to score the second by exploiting Casillas’s error. After scoring, he remained consistent with the team and made sure Spain’s attacks didn’t carry out to the end.
- Casillas: 4- Seriously Casillas? If he stayed behind the goal, he could have stopped Vargas on 19th minute. He could have saved the free kick on 43rd minute and he decides to blow it. Your golden age is now officially over.
- Azpilicueta: 4- Where have you been when Vargas was completely left open?
- Ramos: 6.5- Ramos did the best for Spanish defense. At least he did what he was supposed to do and he helped Spain to move forward several times.
- Martinez: 5- Didn’t really do too much since Chile didn’t really attack on the second half.
- Alba: 5- He had a chance to score on 49th minute but other than that, as a full-back ineffective.
- Busquets: 5.5- Blew that 53rd minute chance. Just Why?
- Alonso: 6- Surprisingly he didn’t do too bad for this game. He had chances to score against Chile but passes weren’t good enough. But yellow card scare had him sub out.
- Iniesta: 5.5- Completely shut down by Chile’s defense. Highly ineffective throughout the game. Oh, tiki taka, oh, tiki taka, where thou art?
- Pedro: 5- Failed to show his talent as wing.
- Silva- He had a poor performance throughout the game. Only completed 79% of his 70 passes.
- Costa: 5- I can’t really blame Costa too much because Chile’s defense shut down passes from Iniesta, Alonso, and Pedro. But he could have scored a goal really early during second half. Costa, it’s not too late to come back to Brazil (well, I don’t know FIFA rules). Costa, you would have done better as one top in Brazil.
- Torres: 5.5- Movement wise, Torres was better than Diego Costa. He definitely tried hard to have himself available for passes but he couldn’t take a shot.
- Koke: 6- Didn’t really make an impact. He could have done better if he started because he knows how Costa plays… Del Bosque’s mistake for not choosing him in starting line up.
- Cazorla: 5- Had a really good chance scoring on 80th minute but other than that not much impact.
- Bravo: 7- Rarely tested throughout the game but he made 6 saves when he was supposed to unlike Casillas.
- Medel: 7.5- Thanks to Medel, Chile’s defense was able to do a good job isolating Costa from midfield. Two tackles, two interceptions, and a blocked shot from him. Now that’s a quality defense.
- Silva: 7- Four interceptions in this game! Chile’s defense has definitely improved.
- Jara: 6- Helped out Chile’s defense when Iniesta tried to counterattack.
- Isla: 6.5- Shut down Spain’s counterattack in the left wing.
- Aranguiz: 8.5- Scored a goal and had an assist for this game. Had a strong game in general.
- Diaz: 7- Responsible for shutting down Iniesta’s moves.
- Mena: 6.5- Executed his role very well as the right wing. Got a yellow card but it ain’t hurt.
- Vargas: 7.5- Scorer of the first game. Perfectly executed Aranguiz’s pass. He was smart enough to make himself open at the penalty box.
- Vidal: 6.5- Although he got a yellow card for tackling Pedro, he did what he had to do. Overall, Vidal was the one who led the midfield and perfectly executed to do so.
- Sanchez: 6.5- Had a strong run throughout the game but unlucky passes killed him. But his free kick had Aranguiz score the second goal for Chile.
- Gutierrez: 7- As a sub, he won three aerial duels and he had an impact for the team.
- Valdivia: 6.5- Helped the team to contain the score.
- Carmona: 6.5- Came late from the bench but helped the team to preserve the win.
Tags: World Cup