World Cup 2014- Group B- Match Report: Spain 0 – Chile 2

18 Jun

larojaIt’s all over for Spain. I don’t have words- in any language- for how I’m feeling right now, you guys. My thirteen-year love affair with soccer began in Spain; it began with Spain. I hate to see them go out like this. That said, Chile played an incredible game- one that effectively kept Spain from playing theirs- and I have to give them their due for that.

And I have to give all of you a match report, so here it is…

Goals:

Chile: Vargas 20’, Aranguiz 43’

Lineups:

Spain: Casillas, Alba, Azpilicueta, Ramos, Iniesta, Martinez, Silva, Alonso, Busquets, Costa, Pedro

Chile: Bravo, Mena, Jara, Vidal, Aranguiz, Diaz, Silva, Isla, Medel, Sanchez, Vargas

Even before the match began, you could get the sense that the positive momentum was with Chile. Arturo Vidal, who is still recovering from a knee injury, was pronounced fit to play. He took time during the warm-up to greet the spirited Chilean fan base.
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Spain very nearly conceded a goal before the first minute was up, making it unfortunately clear that the defensive troubles that had spelled doom against the Netherlands hadn’t been resolved. More startlingly, Spain wasn’t able to hold onto the ball; the stats show that they did have the majority of the possession, but when they were taken off the ball- or when they gave it away- the Chilean response was swift and punishing.

A lightning quick run from Alexis Sanchez and a decisive pass to Aranguiz left Spain scrambling. Aranguiz launched the ball to Eduardo Vargas, who deftly maneuvered around Iker Casillas and scored the opening goal.
2376370_big-lndSpain had a chance to equalize eight minutes later when Silva made a fantastic headed pass to Diego Costa, but Costa’s strike went harmlessly into the side netting. I had hoped- for a split second- that it had gone in, so that was a huge let-down.

There weren’t any other real chances after that, which is a credit to Chile’s midfielders and back three. Spain were playing very narrow, and they just could not get through.

Chile’s second goal came in the forty-third minute. They won a free kick, which Alexis stepped up to take. Iker managed to punch away his goal-bound effort, but he wasn’t able to get it clear; the ball landed at the feet of Aranguiz, who easily put it in the back of the net.

tumblr_n7dvozMNd41qlpj5vo1_500There were no goals at all in the second half. Spain tried valiantly, but they just couldn’t make anything happen. Their one true chance came in the fifty-second minute. Costa hit an overhead kick towards the far post where Sergio Busquets was lurking, but Busquets couldn’t get his feet in position to tap it in; instead, the ball ricocheted awkwardly off his shin and out.
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It got no better for Spain after that. In fact, it very nearly got worse in the sixty-eighth minute when Mena burst forward and crossed to Isla at the back post. Isla’s shot, however, went over the bar.

Chile’s Wiki page was edited even before the final whistle blew:
BqcK0yACYAA4qAmAnd when whistle did blow- after a long six minutes of added time- the roar that went up was practically deafening. As well it should have been. It was a deserved celebration for the players, the coaching staff, and the fans. In the midst of that, the walk off the pitch had to have been tough for Spain, but I did see a couple players- Javi and Iker, to be specific- pick their heads up and acknowledge the fans. Respect for that.

There are a lot of people pronouncing the death of Spanish football, etc… etc… but that’s not how I see it. Yes, there will be lots of soul-searching and technical analysis after this. And, yes, this might have been the last World Cup for a lot of these players. But sports are cyclical, and there’s a whole new cycle of talent coming up in Spain right now; we Madridistas know this, as quite a lot of it is on our roster.

I wouldn’t bet against a future Spanish team making a run at the Cup in four years.

As for the current team, I hope they go into their game against Australia and play. I mean really play, even though there’s nothing left to play for. I want them to leave reminding people that their style- love it or hate it- can be beautiful.

– Katie Ann

24 Responses to “World Cup 2014- Group B- Match Report: Spain 0 – Chile 2”

  1. Futbol fan June 18, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Ok I was never a la roja fan, but dang this hurt. I was really rooting for them. Let’s not forget they are still the most successful team of all time. All good things must come to an end.
    I’m actually most peeved about the reaction to Iker. Like, we all know he was way off, but I personally don’t get the call for his retirement. He’s 33! Honestly that’s nothin for a keeper. Buffo is 36 and he’s still killing it. Iker is just as capable Gigi is. I honestly hope San Iker’s career isn’t over for la Roja, he still has more to give as El Capi. It’s a shame because you could tell his lack of playing time in Madrid affected him.

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 19, 2014 at 12:18 am #

      Not so sure about the lack of playing time being to culprit here. He pulled off some great stuff during our Copa Del Rey and Champions League campaigns and looked much better in those than he did at the World Cup. He just seemed off. They all did. Nothing was clicking.

      • Futbol fan June 19, 2014 at 5:26 am #

        I see what you mean. True.
        It really does break my heart though to see him being treated as the scapegoat, because everyone from the coach to the last player was pretty shocking.
        Also I don’t think I will ever wrap my head around the fact that Diego Costa could have been the star center forward for freaking Brazil at home and he chose to go with Spain. I wonder how’s he’s regretting that now because he didn’t do shit in the Spanish jersey.

        • drea June 19, 2014 at 6:07 am #

          But that’s the thing. Costa the Carpetbagger never had the makings of a star forward with Brazil. He was always second choice. And yet del Bosque made that guy, with his relatively minimal international experience and barely tested ability to perform with the Spanish team in high-pressure conditions, the centerpiece of Spain’s offense. Hmmm.

          As for Iker… In my personal opinion, Iker has been benched (by 2 managers now) because he has been inconsistent. He’s not inconsistent because he’s been benched. Of course you can still see great flashes of brilliance, but from what I remember, he’d lost considerable form even before he was injured 2 seasons ago. But hey, almost everyone goes through a slump. Like you said, he’s only 33. And he’s still (and will always be) a legendary goalkeeper. He just needs to get his sh-t together. They all do.

          • Katie Ann June 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

            My entirely silly and unscientific opinion about this is that the football gods are exacting karmic retribution on Spain for letting Costa wear the jersey…. but y’know…

            As for Iker Casillas, y’all remember the collision he had at the start of the season two seasons ago? I’ve always wondered if it was maybe not dealt with as well as it should have been- if maybe he was playing through a concussion, which would certainly account for the drop in his form. Of course, lot of other things would account for it, too, and I’ve got no evidence, but it’s a thought.

            • drea June 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

              OMG me too! During the first WC game, every time the Dutch scored or Costa missed a chance at goal, all I kept yelling was, “Karma! I told you Costa was bad karma!”

              That glory-hunting opportunist should have never been given the jersey, just on principle alone. And it must have pissed off quite a few of the regulars on the team, especially those who eventually got cut for the final list. I mean, I’m not a big fan of Negredo but why was he left behind for Costa (or Torres, who I love but still) when he’s the kind of bruiser they need upfront and he already has chemistry with the team?

              Anyhow… that’s quite an interesting perspective on Iker, especially since his focus and snap decision-making are what seem to be the most affected. Why does he seem to be aging so rapidly lately? Has anyone noticed that he’s looking quite tired these days? He’s never been the gym bunny type like Sergio, but he’s looking more gaunt than usual to me.

              • Katie Ann June 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

                Pretty sure Negredo was nursing an injury this spring. That had to have factored into his situation.

                As for Iker, I reiterate that this is huge speculation. After all, my vantage point is on an entirely different continent. But it would fit. He came into the season tired and overplayed, he got hit in the head, he continued to play… Might be something to that, even now.

                • drea June 20, 2014 at 1:29 am #

                  Yeah, Negredo had a shoulder thing and some other small issues, I think. But look at Suarez… he seems fine just weeks after surgery (can’t stand him btw, if he comes to Madrid I will weep for weeks). Oh well, it’s all moot now. 😦

                  As far as the NT is concerned, I guess all I can do is look forward to the Euros in 2 years and hope for a revival.

  2. drea June 19, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    They just didn’t play well. And as such, they didn’t deserve to advance. It’s still a bit painful for me to say it, but it’s just true.

    And then there’s the strategy. I’ve never been one for pure Barca tiki-taka, but it’s still the base of the hybrid Spanish NT style. I think that perhaps VdB wasn’t looking far enough into the future to see that everyone had already figured it out, even if the biggest sign was right in his face–Barca went trophy-less this season. I think it finally hit him on the head in the first game, but I guess there just wasn’t enough he could do by the second. And no, Costa is never the right answer to any problem (but damn, Nando sucked too).

    I choose to look at this cyclically as well. In recent memory, we’ve seen this happen with the Brazilians and the Italians. The way I see it, if Germany can stay the course, it’s likely going to be their turn soon. And then there are the Dutch (assuming they don’t implode) waiting in the wings again. Or, maybe it’s time for the resurgence of Brazilian football. The one great thing (well, to me) about Spain getting knocked out is that, suddenly, there are so many wide open possibilities.

    Oh, but with Spain gone, so much of the pretty just left the World Cup. 😦 😉

  3. Tatiana June 19, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    Even though I am not La Roja fan it was painful to see old champions humiliated so. There was no fire, no joy, no passion in their performance yesterday. And Chile had all these in abundance.

    But I have known for at least two years that this is coming. Spain has had hard time scoring, and serious defensive struggles too. And now that other teams start to play more aggressively and they pressure more, they just don’t leave La Roja to play their possession game and this is what happens.

    And I really feel it for Xabi and Iker, who are now made culprits of what happened. It really was not their fault, the whole team was dysfunctional and tactics were predictable and old-fashioned.

  4. KJEzelle June 19, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    I’m still struggling to process what happened but I’d like to take a moment to thank Katie Ann for doing what had to have been one of the most unpleasant match reports in WC history. I’d also like to commend everyone in the comments for not scapegoating any one player, and for recognizing the failings of the whole team.

    Now I’m going to go eat chocolate and hope that all of the other RM players make it through this madhouse safely– or at the least, with injuries that they recover from before the preseason.

    • Katie Ann June 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      Aw, you’re welcome. In the end, it was a bit cathartic, really. I got to get all my thoughts in order.

  5. Natalie June 19, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I absolutely love his team but they simply SUCKED!!! This was not the team that been dominating 2 euros and World Cup in between. A lot of players should not have made this team in Brazil and sadly I do not see them returning back.

    But on the plus side, we saw how teams that collapsed before (Dutch at euro 2012 lost all group matches, Italy and France didn’t make it out of the group stages their next world cups after winning them previous times) come back very strong.

    They definitely be back with newer squat who was collecting trophies on all junior levels, and hopefully with longer hair!!! (All guys who cut their hair could not score now, Samson was onto something)

  6. Dr Heidi June 19, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I was shocked as well; maybe the relentless pursuit of La Decima/La LIga just took everything out of some of them. Of course I listened to all the analysts,but what struck me and made me rather sad is someone who said ‘for some of these players, this may be their last time in a Spain jersey’. ugh, gut wrenching. Spain has been incredible for years, and I nostalgically watched the finals from Euro 2012 against Italy for consolation…..they were just amazing. Staying at the top of any sport is cyclical at best, and Spain has had a fairly long tenure at the top; let’s see who rises to claim the throne this year. I think it’s kind of exciting to see the worlds’ best talent all on one stage…the winning teams have been awesome so far, and I am mesmerized by the speed and footwork of some of these players! This is the first World Cup that I’ve been really following (wasn’t into football in 2010), and I must say, I understand the frenzy!

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      It’s fun, isn’t it? By the time the next one rolls around, we’ll have you collecting Panini stickers and amassing a sizable jersey collection. 😉

  7. Dr Heidi June 19, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    It IS fun (well, with the exception of Spain’s unceremonious exit).

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Think of it this way, now we’ll get pictures of Sergio lying around in swim trunks sooner.

      • Dr Heidi June 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

        If we can even see him anymore with all that ugly ink! *sigh*

        • headbandsandheartbreak June 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

          And the diaper bag blocking the view.

          • jellyace June 20, 2014 at 11:31 am #

            Ah, but we will see him toting his bambino in his arms, even with the diaper bag and hopefully he will resurrect his gold swim trunks. (It’s the equivalent of the Princess Lea gold bikini syndrome for me.)

      • Katie Ann June 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        And all the rest of them, too. Oh, bless you for finding the silver lining.

        • Dr Heidi June 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

          I may have to find solace in the cute little monkey David Silva…oh baby!

  8. CinematiqueChic June 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Very hard to watch that happen, but I have to admit that even though I hoped they’d do well at this World Cup, I was disheartened the day the squad was announced. I appreciate how good this team has been, but VDB was just too reliant on players who – for a long time – haven’t been what they once were. When you win all the time you have the luxury of ignoring certain problems and weaknesses, and that really bit them in the ass yesterday and last week. It’s sad to see them exit the tournament this way, but I’m trying to have optimism that this will open up space for some of Spain’s younger players to get on the squad and for some innovation in tactics. (Also, if Diego Costa never puts a Spain shirt on again that would be perfectly fine too.)

  9. Dr Heidi June 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    To maybe give us all a little laugh when we need it most – the Minion’s take on the World Cup!
    http://www.getitfree.us/blog/article/Videos-the-world-cup-minion-style?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook-Timeline&utm_content=Sports&utm_campaign=Engagement

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