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Soccer World Cup

2014 World Cup: Spain Will Not Defend Title After Loss to Chile

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Chile played Spain a previous 10 times, losing eight of those matches and only managing two draws. Wednesday, during their 11th ever meeting, the South Americans finally recorded their first ever win, 2-0, thus eliminating the reigning champions from the World Cup.

The Chileans put in a performance to remember as they gave no room or mercy in the first half to the defending champions. Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz scored in the first half to ultimately decide the result. Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal put in phenomenal shifts by making the right decisions while sacrificing themselves for this huge win. Their on-field leadership played a vital role in defeating the more experience Spanish side that were subpar at best.

Vicente del Bosque — coach of Spain — opted to play a 4-2-3-1 even after it failed miserably against the Netherlands in the 5-1 loss. He hoped that finding Diego Costa alone up top would bring about many goals. Costa plays as one of two strikers in a 4-4-2 system at Atletico Madrid, and there he scored a bunch this past season en route to the La Liga victory. He only managed some shots that that he simply could not put away, which means that he was not ready to be the savior of this team.

The issue with the switch is that del Bosque thought his team would be too predictable with their 4-3-3. Due to that concern, he fielded a decent team that did not know how to cope in the new system, hence losing both games thus far.  Now, he needs to think long and hard of switching back to the 4-3-3 and perhaps mixing the tiki-taka with the long-ball system and mixing and matching could do some damage.

With this win, Chile now face the Netherlands in a match that will decide the group-winner. Assuming Brazil wins group A, the second-placed team in this Group B faces them, an opponent neither side will wish to face as early as the Round of 16. Even so, both teams could fare quite well against the hosts as they have held their own against quality opponents.