Spain and Australia played their last match of the 2014 World Cup knowing that regardless of the result, they would both be going home. It was not a match that lacked spirit or goals, but many were still left in tears at its end. Spain went with some big changes in the lineup, but it was to give some players World Cup minutes rather than putting too much emphasis on using the best team available to them. Regardless of why they did what they did, Spain finished on top 3-0 with a decent performance.
Australia suffered without Tim Cahill, who was out due to accumulated yellow cards, and Spain took great advantage of this. Although Spain’s back line put a lot of work in, goalkeeper Pepe Reina barely saw the ball. This was the difference for Spain. They played mostly in the opposing half and had many great opportunities to score. Although Andres Iniesta made some amazing passes which fell to bad touches, the team still managed to make plenty of goals to climb on top.
The opening goal of the match came from a heel kick David Villa added to his goal scoring record for Spain, which now sits at 59. Sadly, Villa will no longer get a chance to add more to it, because he announced that this World Cup would be his last. Villa has done more than he could have hoped for Spain after scoring seven of their last 11 World Cup goals. He will be a hard player to replace, which is why I think Spain had a hard time in Brazil. Villa is still an excellent player, but he’s nowhere near his peak as he is older and deals with more injuries.
Spain may be embarrassed to leave the tournament so soon, but after watching the performances put on by Netherlands and Chile, they have nothing to be ashamed of when losing to those two teams. The run ended with quite the victory against Australia, and now Spain have time to work on reinventing the tam as the veterans begin to decide whether to retire internationally or not. It may be four years away, but I expect Spain to be a threat once again in the next World Cup.