World Cup 2014- Goup B- Match Report: Australia 0 – Spain 3

23 Jun

2382488_big-lndThe Spanish players wore black and their goal celebrations were subdued, prompting more than a few “This is Spain’s funeral” remarks from the Spanish media, but in a game played solely for pride, this team made me proud. They and their Australian opponents will go home with a lot to think about, certainly, but today they played a great game of football.

Goals:

Spain: Villa 36’, Torres 69’, Mata 82’

Lineups:

Australia: Ryan, McGowan, Spiranovic, Davidson, Wilkinson, Leckie, McKay, Bozanic, Jedinak, Taggart, Oar

Spain: Reina, Albiol, Juanfran, Alba, Ramos, Alonso, Iniesta, Cazorla, Koka, Villa, Torres

2382267_big-lndThe Socceroos were surely missing Tim Cahill, who was suspended for the match, but they still had a couple of early chances, courtesy of Mathew Leckie, who has been a force to contend with in all of Australia’s matches. The first chance for Spain came via Jordi Alba in the twenty-third minute, but Maty Ryan was able to make the save.

The Socceroo keeper is one of my favorite things about this World Cup. The score sheets don’t necessarily indicate his potential, but he’s trust me: he’s talented, he’s only twenty-two, and he’s just going to get better.

Today, though, ended up being Spain’s day. David Villa scored with a delightful back heel flick in the thirty-sixth minute.

He then proceeded to kiss the crest on his jersey repeatedly, and if I hadn’t been at work I probably would have made loud squeeing noises about that (I clapped my hands over my mouth instead).

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He ended up being substituted in the 57th minute, to the dismay of, well, everyone who wasn’t quite ready to see him go. He’d previously stated this would be his last game with the national team, and I think the enormity of that really hit him as he was walking towards the bench. Then came the tears…
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Every former athlete can empathize with that moment. It’s a tremendous thing to give up something that’s been part of your life- part of your identity- for so long. So I’m happy that he played the minutes he was given so brilliantly.

After Villa’s departure, the Australians tried valiantly to get on the score sheet themselves. They might have done better if Sergio Ramos hadn’t made himself such a defensive menace. Of course, he picked up a yellow card while doing it, so balance has been restored in the cosmos.
Then Fernando Torres scored Spain’s second goal because that’s what Fernando Torres does. 2382411_big-lndI thought that would be it, a 2-0 win, but Juan Mata managed to get the ball in the eighty-second minute and nutmeg Maty Ryan.
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A late goal is always a little crushing, so I feel bad for Australia, but it was fitting that Mata scored because he’s a player who represents the team’s future. And you’d better believe this team has a future.
But, for now, it’s over.

Adios, equipo. Gracias por todo y viva España.

– Katie Ann

9 Responses to “World Cup 2014- Goup B- Match Report: Australia 0 – Spain 3”

  1. Laura Witrak June 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Great commentary! Love the insight of the future of Spain. Very sad they are done but Espana of the first decade of the 21st century will always have my heart (and billions of others as well).

  2. CinematiqueChic June 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    I’m so glad Spain was able to go out with a win, but it really was a sad match to watch. It sucks that they’re out of this World Cup, and it’s even worse that so many beloved players will be, or are rumored to be, retiring. Seeing Villa walk off that pitch was especially hard. But I guess the only thing to do now is look to the future, and I’m really optimistic about the young Spanish players.

  3. Maripili June 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    I have felt so sad after this game. Villa was so much a part of this team and his departure, along with others is very hard. Yes, Spain has a bright future, but this team was truly special and they did spoil us. I wish all of them nothing but the best.

  4. jellyace June 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    There were two other big moments for me at this match:
    Fernando Torres wardrobe fail (torn shirt) and then Topless Nando as he put on a new jersey.
    The TorMata hug after Mata’s goal.

    I give a very robust standing ovation to this team and to those who will be retiring from international duty. It’s been a very exciting, intense, and successful 6 years and they have won it all. No one can take that away. But now it’s time to mentor the next generation and teach them to have the heart of champions.

    • drea June 24, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Yes, Nando changing his shirt was an extra little nugget of happy. 😉

    • Katie Ann June 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Oh, yes, Torres and his shirt! I actually missed seeing that live (I was, technically, working during the match, heh), but Tumblr is informative when it comes to these things.

      I agree with you about the past six years; it’s been quite a ride, and these players have won everything there is to win. It’s hard to see them go, but, as so many coaches have said so many times, “this is football.”

  5. drea June 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    I don’t mean to be cruel, but I think it has to be mentioned. Costa was left out of the starting line up. Spain scored thrice. This is not a coincidence.

    Villa was outstanding. They had a sluggish start but he was the spark that set them off. I still think he’s too young to be heading off to the A-League and then MLS, but his presence is going to be wonderful for those leagues and I wish him luck.

    So… this may be the end of an era, but I’m excited to see the “new” reshaped team emerge for the Euros.

    • Katie Ann June 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      I am going to find so many excuses to be in NYC once Villa arrives. No joke.

  6. Natalie June 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Still cannot believe they are out of the cup and are already back in Spain. but then italy and england are out as well, so full of surprises

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