Spanish empire falls to hyperactive Chile: how Stats Zone saw Spain 0-2 Chile
Chile had never before beaten Spain, losing eight of the previous 10 encounters including one in the Maracana at the 1950 World Cup. But the talk will now centre around just how far in the tournament this side can go, after bringing the curtain down on one of the greatest international teams of all time and winners of three successive major tournaments.
Vicente del Bosque left Gerard Pique and Xavi out of his starting XI following the 5-1 drubbing by the Dutch.
The Maracana crowd witnessed an even opening 10 minutes in terms of possession, with Chile keen to press Spain as much and as early as possible. The holders settled after a shaky sight that saw Chile create 2 chances in the opening two minutes; Gonzalo Jara nodding the second one wide from close range.
And Chile's aggressivity paid dividends after 20 minutes. Winning the ball in Spain's third of the pitch and charging forward, Eduardo Vargas added the finishing touch to Charles Aranguiz's intelligent cutback.
Spain enjoyed more of the ball as the first half progressed, with David Silva leading for final third passes after 31 minutes, yet his side lacked a cutting edge in and around the penalty area.
And things went from bad to worse for the holders shortly before half-time. Iker Casillas, at fault in the Holland humping, punched a free-kick straight to Aranguiz, who toe-poked into the top corner.
Spain attempted 22 long passes in the first half and wanged in 8 crosses in search of Diego Costa.
Chile right wing-back Mauricio Isla was putting in a shift, making the most ball recoveries and pushing high up the pitch to support Alexis Sanchez.
For Spain, Sergio Busquets was perfect in possession but predominatly passing sideways, while Andres Iniesta was struggling to find a way past Chile's back-line.
Koke replaced Xabi Alonso at the interval, and Spain began the second half with a purpose. But despite seeing plenty of the ball further upfield they couldn't find a breakthrough, with Busquets missing a sitter.
Koke had a positive impact in the second period. Despite only coming on at half-time, the Atletico Madrid man was the best tackler of the game and second only to David Silva for attacking passes by the 76 minute mark.
Del Bosque's side were a frustrated outfit by the end, unable to force the ball beyond goalkeeper Claudio Bravo despite 16 attempts over the course of the evening.
Chile maintained an incredible work-rate and tempo en course to qualification for the last 16, making 62 ball recoveries. Half a dozen of their players made 6 or more recoveries to help Jorge Sampaoli's men regain possession; Marcelo Diaz their top performer with 9.
While wide-men Eugenio Mena and Isla were two of the stars of the show; Isla in particular frequently galavanting up and down the right to aid Barcelona star Sanchez.
Diego Costa hogged the pre-tournament headlines over his decision to play for Spain over his native Brazil, but the Atletico Madrid man has still to have a shot on target in the tournament (126 minutes). His replacement, the much-derided Fernando Torres, was more effective up top after coming on for the final 25 minutes. The Chelsea man won 5/6 aerial duels, wheras Costa won 0/3, and completed 7 of his 9 passes in the attacking third as Spain huffed and puffed for late salvation in Rio de Janeiro.
The end of tiki-taka? Spain posted their lowest passing accuracy in a World Cup game (81.7%) since their quarter-final defeat to South Korea in June 2002 (78.7%), while Iniesta (52) attempted the fewest passes in the 8 World Cup matches he has played a full 90 minutes in. It's the first time they have lost back-to-back internationals since October 2006, when they were beaten by both Sweden and Northern Ireland.
Facts and figures
- Spain have already conceded in their two 2014 World games (7 goals) after conceding in only 2 of their 7 2010 World Cup games (2 goals in total)
- Chile have scored in all but 1 of their last 12 World Cup games.
- Spain have conceded 2+ goals in more than 1 game at a single World Cup tournament for the first time since USA 94.
- In his 126 minutes of World Cup action, Diego Costa failed to muster a single shot on target (only 5 shots in total).
- Spain have shipped 7 goals in their 2 2014 World Cup games, as many as they had conceded in their previous 13 World Cup games.
- Spain join Italy 1950*, Brazil 1966, France 2002 and Italy 2010 as reigning World Cup champions to exit the following tournament in the group stages (*Italy 1950 was 12 years since the previous tournament and format of 1950 competition was unusual)
- Spain posted their lowest passing accuracy in a World Cup game (81.7%) since their quarter-final defeat to South Korea in June 2002 (78.7%).
- In winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, Spain conceded a total of 6 goals, 1 fewer than they have so far at World Cup 2014.
- This was only Chile’s second World Cup win in their last 11 games against European opposition.
- Andrés Iniesta (52) attempted the fewest passes in the 8 World Cup matches he has played a full 90 minutes in.
- Chile have won 4 of their last 6 World Cup games after failing to win any of their preceding 13.