Spain's World Cup reign ended by 2-0 loss to Chile

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Spain's World Cup reign ended by 2-0 loss to Chile
Chile's Eduardo Vargas, right in white, scores the opening goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas fails to make a save as Chile's Charles Aranguiz scores his side's 2nd goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Sergio Ramos reacts during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Spain's Fernando Torres touch hands after the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Defending champion Spain was eliminated from the World Cup after losing to Chile 2-0. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Ramos reacts after taking a kick to the face during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Andres Iniesta, goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres, from left, leave the pitch after the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Spain was eliminated from World Cup contention with a 2-0 loss to Chile. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's Fernando Torres, second from right, is surrounded by Chilean defenders during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Ramos reacts after taking a kick to the face during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Fernando Torres, right, goes to ground during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A Spanish soccer fan holds her head as she watches, on a giant display, the World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile, in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Spain's Sergio Ramos takes the boot of Chile's Eugenio Mena in the face during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Ramos, left, attempts a spectacular shot during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Ramos heads the ball at the Chile goal as Chile's Alexis Sanchez defends during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Spain's Sergio Ramos, right, and Chile's Eugenio Mena challenge during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Chile's Gonzalo Jara, left, and Spain's David Silva battle for the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Andres Iniesta prepares to take a corner during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Sergio Ramos checks on Chile's Eduardo Vargas after a collision during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Chile's Alexis Sanchez, left, and Spain's Jordi Alba challenge for the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's Sergio Ramos, left, wins a header against Chile's Alexis Sanchez during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Chile's Eduardo Vargas celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Chile's Alexis Sanchez, right, in action during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Ramos leaps over Chile's Eduardo Vargas to get to the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Chile's Mauricio Isla, left, and Spain's Andres Iniesta challenge for the ball during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Chile's Alexis Sanchez, right, shields the ball from Spain's Javi Martinez during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Chile's Alexis Sanchez, left, is challenged by Spain's Jordi Alba during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Chile's Francisco Silva is challenged by Spain's David Silva during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Chile's Eugenio Mena, left, challenges Spain's Cesar Azpilicueta during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Chile's Mauricio Isla, right, fails to score during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's head coach Vicente Del Bosque, left, walks through the coach zone during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's Sergio Ramos heads the ball over Chile's Alexis Sanchez during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas stands in his goal mouth during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Spain's Andres Iniesta is fouled during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo punches the ball clear during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Spain's Sergio Busquets, right, holds his head after failing to score past Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo clears the ball away from his goal mouth during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Chile's Eduardo Vargas is tripped by Spain's Koke, left, during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By GRAHAM DUNBAR

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Defending champion Spain, the dominant global football power for the past six years, was eliminated from World Cup contention Wednesday with a 2-0 loss to Chile.

Spain's famed passing game failed against a high-tempo, tenacious Chile team, its era ending in the storied Maracana Stadium filled mostly with Chilean supporters.

Eduardo Vargas tricked goalkeeper Iker Casillas into diving the wrong way, then shot into an unguarded goal in the 20th minute. Charles Aranguiz scored in the 43rd when the ball landed at his feet after Casillas punched out a free kick.

Spain's second loss, after a 5-1 rout by the Netherlands, ended any hope of advancing. Chile and the Netherlands will both advance, regardless of who wins the game between them.

Spain won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, in addition to the 2010 World Cup.

Spain came to Brazil with a very similar - but older - team than the one that won those titles. They added Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa, but he failed to score a goal.

Their "tiki-taka" style of play - keeping the ball for long stretches with short passes, and only shooting when you had a clear opening - had not been working as well in recent years. Brazil defeated Spain 3-0 in last summer's Confederations Cup, a warm-up for the World Cup.

Spain became the third straight European defending World Cup champion to flop in the group stage. France in 2002 and Italy four years ago also failed to advance, or even win a match.

Badly needing a win, del Bosque stayed loyal to captain Casillas despite the veteran goalkeeper's errors against the Dutch.

Two pillars of Spain's title runs, Barcelona pair Xavi Hernandez and Gerard Pique with a combined 194 appearances, were left out.

Xabi Alonso probably should have joined them. His agonizing first half typified Spain's problems and his errors led to both goals.

And Alonso's selection left a younger version of his former self, Atletico Madrid's Koke, on the bench until the logical change was made at half time.

Alonso gave away the ball to Alexis Sanchez to start a move down Chile's right wing by Arturo Vidal and Aranguiz, leading to Vargas' score. Alonso trailed behind the play and put his hands to his head.

Alonso was booked in the 40th before conceding another foul, on Sanchez, three minutes later 22 yards (meters) out.

When Casillas punched away Sanchez's curling free-kick, Aranguiz trapped the ball then flicked a rising shot spinning away from the goalkeeper's reach.

Alonso had Spain's best early chance, a 15th-minute shot smothered by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Often wayward in its passing, Spain missed two clear chances early in the second half.

Costa was slow on Andres Iniesta's threaded pass in the 49th, and Sergio Busquets was guilty of a glaring miss, volleying wide from five meters in the 53rd.

After Bravo pushed away shots by substitute Santi Cazorla and Iniesta, Chile's win was sealed.

Read Full Story

People are Reading