Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chile beat Spain 2-0 in 2014 Fifa World Cup

Chile started their encounter against the reigning champions like a house on fire. There was an early chance, early corner-kick and an early free header with a clear sight on goal, all wasted. Spain nervously tried to fight the flames and cool down the embers until they finally regrouped and took the game to the Chileans, who seemed to chill a little.

The Europeans attacked with a lot of pace through the middle with David Silva calling the shots in the middle trying to pry an opening for the killer pass to Diego Costa. Both teams began to press each other harder up-front being quick in the middle and final thirds of the pitch. Chile was forced to play the ball early or long, but they kept their shape and composure whenever the ball crossed the centre line.

Upon winning a fierce midfield battle around the right side of the centre circle, the South Americans swiftly inter-passed the ball intricately with Alexis Sanchez, Aranguiz and Vargas involved. It was Sanchez’s ball into the box that was squared by Aranguiz to Vargas to touch it across a recovering Ike Casillas who had tried to narrow the angle on Aranguiz. Vargas’s second touch was a toe-poke as he competed with Xavi Alonso for the ball. Spain’s central defence and midfield was guilty of being sucked into play to their left and exposed their centre and their right. Casillas should not have tried to come off his line until the first touch was made by an attacker.

As play progressed, Silva was neutralised by Vidal as Mendel suffocated Costa. In trying to make amends, Spain composed their play and effectively put Pedro into good use on the right. Chile began to chase each and every ball, engaging in combative duels with Alonso, Busquets and Ramos. The Chilean game plan revolved around doubling up on the Spanish engine room, Iniesta, whom they made sure he drifted wide with each drive into the attacking zones.

Sanchez won two consecutive free kicks on the right side edge of the penalty box. He took the later around the wall, attracting a poor punched effort by Spain’s number one. The ricochet generously fell to Aranguiz who controlled and stabbed the ball past the diving Real Madrid keeper. Casillas was the chief culprit punching the ball directly into play rather than fist it long and wide.

Spain put in a man-sized performance at the beginning of the second half, winning the free-kicks outside the penalty area. Sergio Ramos took one pile driver that Bravo badly dealt with. He double-fisted the ball high to his left, where it was bicycle-kicked across the goalmouth to a free Busquets. The midfielder mysteriously squandered the opportunity with a yawning net at his nose.

With less than two thirds of the match left, Chile were coasting to a famous win and could have doubled the first half score line but they wasted two beautiful chances after counter attacking moves. They played with confidence and authority as the champions faded quietly and softly.

Somehow, Ramos a red card for a clever kick of the opponent while retracting his foot after clearing a ball. Soon after, Chile let Spain off the hook yet again when three players took turns to waste chances in an embarrassing fashion. Mena, Isla and Gutierrez extravagantly spurned what could have supped the already depleted energy levels of the Spanish. It was more of mental fatigue than energy loss as the revered Europeans tucked their tails between their legs.

Spain became the first reigning champions to lose two consecutive matches in the Fifa World Cup. It was, however, the triumph of the Chilean master plan, which bordered around retention of the ball, quick recovery of possession, physical combating in midfield with many players around the ball, starving Iniesta of the ball, showing the Spanish wingers down the touchline, deny crosses and then choking the central position What a show by Chile and why don’t they go on and win this thing? If you can dismantle the champions like this, why not? Not even the Dutch could have survived this onslaught.