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Adios amigos: Chile chucks out sorry Spain

There were punching bags that fought back more bravely; and babies who held on to their candy longer.

Even when Spain was a genuine global superpower and its conquistadores colonised most of South America, the Spaniards never managed to get Brazil under their thumb. So what chance did they have with a touring party who, whenever things got rough, pinned their hopes on Fernando Torres?

The bullish Chile outfit finished off the Spanish matadors today with a 2-0 win at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro to mark the first time that a World Cup holder has been eliminated after just two matches.

Photo: A football fan says goodbye to Spain at the Maracana Stadium today. (Copyright AFP 2014/Martin Bernetti)
Photo: A football fan says goodbye to Spain at the Maracana Stadium today.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Martin Bernetti)

For context, even the “Soca Warriors” were still alive for their final group match in Germany 2006.

Spain had company in the departure lounge today as Australia bowed out 3-2 to the Netherlands and Cameroon fell 4-0 to Croatia.

It means the Netherlands team, paced by another goal each from lively frontmen Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie, is the first to qualify for the knockout stage where a clash with either Brazil, Mexico or Croatia awaits.

The “Aussies” pushed the Dutchmen all the way, though, as frontman and serial corner flag abuser Tim Cahill spanked home one of the goals of the tournament with a brilliant left footed volley.

Cameroon did not provide any such high point; but there was plenty misplaced aggression as midfielder Alex Song tried to clobber Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic for running across his path and left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto for trying to butt teammate Benjamin Moukandjo after the latter’s petulant response to a sharp word.

It was more fight than the entire Spanish team put up over 180 minutes.

Spain captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ weak clearance in the 43rd minute, which barely cleared his six yard box and led to Chile’s second goal, was symptomatic of the defending champions’ passion. Even the “Brahmin Boy” would have delivered a stronger punch.

Coach Vicente Del Bosque had already dropped Xavi and Gerald Pique and, at halftime, withdrew Xabi Alonso. But it was like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. And when Sergio Busquets missed a gaping goal from four yards, it was clear that the defending champions had lost their nerve.

Photo: Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets (centre) misses a clear scoring chance while Chile goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo looks on. (Copyright AFP 2014/Yasuyoshi Chiba)
Photo: Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets (centre) misses a clear scoring chance while Chile goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo looks on.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Del Bosque responded by sending on Torres, which could arguably be interpreted as a customised resignation letter.

RIP, tiki taka talibans: gone and already forgotten.

 

Today’s 2014 World Cup summary

Group B

Netherlands 3 (Arjen Robben 20, Robin Van Persie 58, Mephis Depay 68), Australia 2 (Tim Cahill 21, Mile Jedinak 54 pen)

Chile 2 (Eduardo Vargas 19, Charles Aranguiz 43), Spain 0

Group A

Croatia 4 (Ivica Olic 11, Ivan Perisic 48, Mario Mandzukic 61, 73), Cameroon 0

*–Red Card: Alex Song (Cameroon)

 

Star of the Day

Australia striker Tim Cahill played his last World Cup game today; and what an exit! His stunning left foot volley cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar and will probably be replayed for years to come.

 

Villain of the Day

It is hard to choose between Spain captain Iker Casillas’ weak punch, midfielder Sergio Busquets appalling miss and Cameroon left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s bizarre attempt at team bonding.

Busquets gets the nod though. El rondo champion and master of the sure first touch couldn’t even get his foot on a simple cross and allowed Spain’s best chance to deflect off his shins.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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78 comments

  1. I see your point. You say Ghana 2014 is not as good as Ghana 2010. I happen to disagree. I think they are just as good as before but were outscored this time.

  2. Your stats are irrefutable, i am not trying to challenge them. Simply said to me this squad is not playing as well as 2010.

  3. Jason Moyo Sylvester Ghana’s current squad is just as good as their 2010 squad. They outplayed the USA this time with 60% of the possession! (I checked the stats) However, the USA outscored them. Dempsey scored one in the 1st minute of the game and Brooks scored the winner in the 86th.

  4. Sim Simmer i am willing to accept your view on the fitness of Donovan as i have not paid much attention to their build-up and also your view on the quality of your bench and also the fact that you did beat Ghana without him this World Cup. In my most humble of opinions though i think leaving him out is a big mistake because even if he doesn’t start he brings a different dynamic to the team thereby offering a plan B which your current squad lacks and is essential to any serious team. Also are you willing to accept my view that the Ghana team you faced 4 years ago was playing better than the one you beat this year?

  5. Like that player who just missed that goal ent want to loose his life when he returns to Colombia or what ent

  6. Allyuh better come good around Sim Simmer… She knows her team!

  7. Jason Moyo Sylvester when did you become a selector for the USA? Klinsmann has good eyes, he saw that Donovan was not as fit as other men on the team, so he cut Donovan. Last World Cup, Donovan was there and Ghana beat the USA. This time there was no Donovan and a sub named John Brooks scored the winner. Yet people say that the USA does not have a bench!

  8. Jason but A A like you is a real student of the game like myself ent I said the same thing about Donovan yes. Sim better change her major yes because she just not getting it. Hahahaha

  9. Lol i cant knock her support for her team, I just think that without Donovan they don’t have enough.

  10. Sim good morning whatever rum you drinking change the brand nah. Hahahaha

  11. Sim girl I don’t trust that short man from Argentina nah so I have to pick two teams to deal with him yes. Hahahaha

  12. Jason Moyo Sylvester What mamaguy?!? I am absolutely serious! What you said was on point! Check my profile photo. USA to the semis! They playin’ dey doh know.

  13. Ivory Coast 2 Columbia 2, england 2 Uruguay 1, japan 2 Greece 1

  14. Earl Mango Pierre you forgetting Argentina don’t need a ship. Is walk they walking home.

  15. Jason what is the name of the ship heading to Argentina eh.Them really good yes.

  16. Thanks for the mamaguy Sim Simmer

  17. Jason Moyo Sylvester yuh talk like a boss dey!

  18. One thing is for sure, there can be no complaints from anyone about this Cup. Any real football lovers, no matter how biased toward their own fav team, can appreciate that if your team does not come to play at this tournament you will be sent packing. Spain did not lose because of talent, they were just too slow and arrogant so they wont be changing styles for the next tournament, just players. Cant see why everyone hating on America, they’re not a team i support or even look forward to watching play, but them getting out of this group is not really going to shock anyone. Portugal really needs to perform or this will be known as the World Cup where the New World took revenge on the Iberian peninsula and sent them back home with Spain on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

  19. !!!hmmm~!! Denial force is Strong with Uncle Earl Mango Pierre

  20. Soca Warrior, Brazilian, German…how many more hats can fit on your head Earl Mango Pierre?

  21. The only doors people will be trying to sneak in is when your football God and his teammates are on the plane heading back to Argentina.after they gets eliminated from the World Cup. Hahahahaha

  22. See I don’t think they should change. Figure out a way to tweak a little. But why change the philosophy of keeping the ball. I am bias to that style of football though

  23. My allegiance is to my Soca Worries first and I am a Brazilian to the bone. Lol

  24. Lol. Alrite Mango. I will be watching the Argentine bus doors for people trying to sneak on eh!

  25. Philip I will never jump ship as I have always said before our greatest team in the universe has won more World Cups and broke all World Cup records they don’t have to prove themselves any more and the way there nowadays coaches picking the team eh I don’t know what they are doing the last World Cup that doh doh head Dunga the coach left Ronaldinho at home which was a big mistake and now this present Coach I really hope that he knows what he is doing. VIVA Brazil

  26. Earl Mango Pierre backing Brazil and Germany is like loving Coca Cola and Pepsi at the same time. Lol. Declare your allegiance man!