June 18, 2014

Chile 2, Spain 0: The defending champs go bye-bye after only two games !!  It is the fourth time the incumbent has been knocked out in the first round; Brazil (1966), France (2002) and Italy (2010) at least managed to stay alive until the third game, and each of those teams were handicapped by the loss of their star (Pele, Zidane, Buffon) for almost the whole tournament.  Spain had no such excuse, and it is unlikely the core of the team that sandwiched the 2010 World Cup between back-to-back Euro titles will be around to defend their continental title in 2016.  There will also be questions about the tiki-taka style that seemed so unstoppable since 2008 could allow Spain to dominate the possession statistics and still get wiped out on the scoreboard.

Chile now plays Holland for the Group B lead next Monday, with the loser getting a likely face-off with Brazil in the second round.*  Spain's game at the same time with Australia will be for pride only.

*If the teams draw, Holland will win out on goal differential.  


Dean Scully said...

Too small.. Chile and Holland ran over them.

Steve Smith said...

Too small and too old...who would have thought that both Chile and Holland would receive a tougher battle from the Socceroos than from the defending champs.