It is the end of an era for Spain, as they lost their second consecutive World Cup match on Wednesday, this time to Chile by a 2-0 score in the famed Maracanã in Rio. The result means La Furia Roja are eliminated at the group stage, while Chile and the Netherlands have officially wrapped up places to advance from Group B.
Chile looked the better team all game, and controlled the run of play for the full 90 minutes. After Alexis Sánchez sent a terrific ball ahead, Charles Aránguiz sent a square pass to Eduardo Vargas, who didn't give up on the play, slotting the ball past Iker Casillas while simultaneously falling backwards to give Chile the lead in the 19th minute. Aranguiz then added his own tally in the 43rd minute following another blunder from Spain's goalkeeper.
Spain held onto the ball better in stretches early in the second half, and in particular had a perfect opportunity to get back into the match when Sergio Busquets' tap-in chance bounced wide in the 53rd minute. Chile could have extended their lead with better finishing in the second 45, but the 2-0 scoreline was more than enough to get the historic result.
CURSE OF THE CHAMPIONS? Spain's run of major international tournament wins (the 2008 Euros, 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros) is over. It seems they have unintentionally started another streak, however, as the second straight reigning world champions to be knocked out of the subsequent World Cup, following in the footsteps of 2006 champs Italy in 2010. In fact, this is the third time such a feat has happened in the last four World Cups, if you include France's early exit in 2002.
CHILE MAKE AND MAINTAIN HISTORY: La Roja had never previously beaten Spain, as they lost eight and drew two of their earlier meetings against the Europeans. The weight of history, however, did not hold the dynamic Chileans back, who played to their strengths of attacking relentlessly and playing competent defense. But perhaps Chile knew another historical fact that would swing the match in their favor: Scoring first would be a good omen.
Chile goes up 1-0 on Spain. Chile has never lost a #WorldCup game when scoring first (9-0-3).— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 18, 2014
ANOTHER SHOCKER FOR CASILLAS: One of the stories of Spain's opening loss to the Netherlands was Casillas' shaky play. It appeared to happen once again against Chile, especially on the second goal. The Real Madrid veteran punched away Sánchez's free kick in the 43rd minute, but straight back into the box. Aranguiz was in the perfect spot to receive the ball, and blasted it back towards goal, this time for good. With a second consecutive poor performance, many will wonder if Casillas' days with Spain are truly over.
CHILEANS MAKE IT A HOME GAME: Obviously, Chile is far closer to Brazil than Spain, so it's not necessarily a surprise to see Chilean fans outnumber their Spanish counterparts. What was somewhat surprising was the overwhelming support Chile had on the night. And while the bad side of that fanaticism displayed itself with fans breaking into the stadium and running through the media center, the good side came through in the stands and put the South Americans on the front foot from the singing of the national anthem through to the final whistle.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Charles Aránguiz, Chile – Did his damage in the first half, as he had the direct assist on Vargas' opener and was able to capitalize on his chance just before the break to give La Roja the cushion they needed to hang on.