World Cup watch: Spain bow out at first hurdle

World Cup watch: Spain bow out at first hurdle


Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos will be starting their summer holidays earlier than expected after Spain crashed out of the World Cup at the first hurdle.

The 2010 winners followed up their 5-1 defeat to Holland on Friday with a 2-0 loss to Chile last night, meaning the South American side joins Louis Van Gaal’s team in the second round, while Australia and Spain, who face each other in a dead rubber on Monday evening, go home early.

The Real Madrid trio all started the game at the iconic Maracana stadium, and the damage was done in the opening 45 minutes, with Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz grabbing the goals to send Vicente del Bosque’s shell-shocked side home.

Luka Modric had a better evening though, as the Real Madrid man was part of the Croatia side that easily saw of Cameroon. Ivica Olic, Mario Mandzukic (2) and Ivan Perisic got the goals, while Barcelona’s Alex Song was sent off for Cameroon. Croatia play Mexico next knowing a win over them will take them into the next round.

Chile, backed by 40,000 fans in the stadium, put Spain under pressure from the off, and their pressing game throughout was hugely impressive.

The opened their scored in style, and as a result of their high pressure tactic, with Alonso forced into a sloppy backpass. Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez burst down the right hand side before Aranguiz squared for Vargas to round Casillas and slot home into an empty net.

Without ever threatening the Chile goal despite lots of possession, Spain needed to get to half time without conceding a second so they could regroup and make changes if necessary. But on the stroke of the interval Aranguiz doubled the lead. Casillas will be disappointed he didn’t deal with Sanchez’ free kick better – punching it straight at the feet of Aranguiz, who expertly finished with the outside of his boot.

Despite introducing Pedro, Santi Cazorla and Koke in the second period, Spain never got going, and exited the World Cup without much of a fight.