Football

Five reasons why the Spanish armada sank

Teams have found ways to reel in La Roja

GROUP B

SPAIN 0

CHILE 2

(Eduardo Vargas 20, Charles Aranguiz 43)

Spain became the fifth holders to be eliminated from the World Cup at the first stage after their 2-0 defeat by Chile at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro this morning (Singapore time).

Here are five reasons how it all went wrong for the holders.

1 STICKING WITH 
THE OLD-TIMERS

After the 5-1 defeat by Holland, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque dropped both Xavi Hernandez and Gerard Pique, replacing them with Pedro Rodriguez and Javi Martinez.

However, it would appear that the rejuvenation of the Spain squad should have begun sooner.

A player like Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, full of energy and desire, was introduced to the side too late.

And the decision to keep faith with Iker Casillas proved to be a mistake. The captain of the great teams of the recent past has not been playing regularly for Real Madrid.

Del Bosque has enough alternatives in the goalkeeping department, even in the absence of the injured Victor Valdes.

2 POROUS DEFENCE

If the fingers of blame are being pointed in his direction, Casillas might respond by saying that the defenders deserve criticism, too.

After all, Spain's success in 2010 and at Euro 2012 was based first and foremost around their watertight defence.

The inspiration of Carles Puyol has been missed. Pique and Sergio Ramos worked in the past as a centre-back pairing, but not this time, and Javi Martinez did not prove to be the solution against Chile.

Against both Holland and Chile, Spain came up against sides playing 3-4-1-2 systems that stifled their style. La Roja couldn't cope to the extent that they conceded seven goals in two games.

3 SELECTING 
DIEGO COSTA

Once del Bosque had persuaded Diego Costa to represent his adopted country rather than his native Brazil, it was inevitable that the Atletico Madrid star would have to be brought into the starting line-up.

However, Spain have not done enough to help the bruising centre forward fit into their style of play.

He needs balls into space if he is to have an impact but, too often, he appeared utterly marooned against Chile and their three central defenders.

He looked ill at ease too, and Brazilians unhappy that he snubbed the Selecao, greeted him with loud jeers both in Salvador and in Rio de Janeiro.

4 FAILURE TO ADAPT

In general, Spain have been guilty of keeping too much faith in a system that worked so well in the past.

La Roja's style has been built around the Barcelona way that delivered them so much success under Pep Guardiola.

But Barcelona's recent fall from grace and the way in which Guardiola's Bayern Munich were ripped apart by the pace and power of Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals two months ago have indicated that the days of "tiki-taka" may be numbered.

And, this morning, Chile's pace and pressing unsettled Spain, forcing them to regularly mis-place passes and preventing them from holding possession, their forte in the past.

5 PLAYING IN 
SOUTH AMERICA

It was always going to be a challenge for a European nation to win the World Cup on the American continent, something that has never happened before.

The beginning of the end for Spain came at the Maracana a year ago, when they lost 3-0 to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final, and the decline has continued.

Every South American side in this World Cup have formidable backing from their travelling supporters.

Spain's 5-1 loss to the Dutch left them needing a result against Chile, but the majority of the Maracana crowd were behind Jorge Sampaoli's side, making it like a home game for them. - AFP.

MATCH STATS

  • Total shots: Spain 15, Chile 7
  • Corners: Spain 7, Chile 1
  • Offsides: Spain 1, Chile 2
  • Yellow cards: Spain 1, Chile 2
  • Fouls committed: 
Spain 14, Chile 15
  • Ball possession:
 Spain 56%, Chile 44%

Del Bosque: There 
will be consequences

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said that there would be "consequences", including potentially for himself, after the world champions' shock elimination from the World Cup this morning (Singapore time).

Spain lost 2-0 to Chile, their second straight defeat in Group B that leaves them unable to reach the knockout phase even if they beat Australia in their final group game.

"Whenever something negative happens in a World Cup or an important competition like this, it has consequences," said del Bosque, before adding that he needed time to reflect.

"I don't want to get into that analysis because we have a lot of time ahead of us.

"We need to reflect on this calmly...We will have time to do the things that we think are best for Spanish football and that applies to me as well."

Del Bosque, 63, took over the Spain team from the late Luis Aragones after they won Euro 2008 and he led them to victory at the World Cup in South Africa two years later, before they triumphed again at Euro 2012.

Del Bosque said Spain played too slowly and too timidly in the first half against Chile, when the South American side scored both their goals, following on from their second-half collapse in the 5-1 thrashing by Holland last week.

"It is a sad day for all of us. We are sorry we didn't succeed (but) now is too early to analyse where we go from here."
 he said

INFERIOR

"We were inferior to both Holland and Chile. They got the goals and gave us a mountain to climb.

"We were too timid in the first half and did not react sufficiently in the second.

"The first goal really buoyed them and they really got into our faces."

After seeing his side secure their place in the last 16 alongside Holland, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said: "I am proud of the way we played to put out the world champions. It was a great win over a great team." - Wire Services.

We will have time to do the things that we think are best for Spanish football and that applies to me as well.

— Spain coach Vicente del Bosque (above)

World Cup