2014 World Cup – Group B
Spain vs Chile
Estadio Maracana – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: Chile +500 / Spain -185 / Draw +345
Point Line: Spain -1 -110 / Chile -1 -110
Total: under 3 -136 / over 3 +116
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Spain won the World Cup for the first time ever in 2010 in South Africa. Four years later, they were still considered to be one of the favorites. When the draw for the World Cup came out, Spain was drawn into Group B alongside the team they beat 1-0 in the 2010 Final, the Netherlands. It instantly became one of the most anticipated games of the World Cup, and the fact that they opened group play against each other made it even more intriguing.
Well, Spain got crushed 5-1. Spain is now in jeopardy of not even qualifying for the knockout round, and if they do they could face host nation Brazil in the round of 16. Spain takes on Chile Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro in a must win game for Spain. Chile beat Australia 3-1 last Friday in their opening game. Spain also lost their first game in 2010 against Switzerland 1-0 and won their next two games to win the group. However, losing 1-0 is a lot different than losing 5-1 just because goal differential is the top tiebreaker. The Netherlands will take on Australia earlier in the day in Porto Alegre.
Spain leads the series 8-0-2 against Chile. Spain has never lost to Chile. They played in a friendly in October in Geneva and it ended in a 2-2 draw. Spain beat Chile 2-1 in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup. They have played four times since 2008, but they hadn’t played since 1950 before then.
In the Netherlands-Spain match, Spain’s Xabi Alonso gave his team a 1-0 lead at 27 minutes. Robin van Persie leveled the score at 1-1 at the 44th minute on a sensational header that will be on highlight reels for years to come. In the second half Arjen Robben gave the Netherlands a 2-1 lead at the 53rd minute that they would never relinquish. Stefan de Vrij made it 3-1 for the Dutch 12 minutes later. Van Persie added another goal at 72 minutes, and so did Robben at the 80th minute. The Netherlands did not call off the dogs as they remained aggressive trying to hang a sixth goal against Spain. Spain hadn’t given up 5 goals in a game since a 1963 6-2 loss to Scotland. Spain also gave up more goals to the Netherlands than they had in their previous four games combined.
The Dutch had 13 shots including 11 on goal. Spain had 9 shots with 6 on goal. The Netherlands had 18 fouls to 5 for Spain. Spain had possession for 57% of the time. The Spanish had 4 corners to 1 for the Dutch. Each team was called offsides 5 times.
In the Chile-Australia match, Chile scored two goals in two minutes at 12 minutes by Alexis Sanchez and 14 minutes by Jorge Valdivia to take a 2-0 lead. Tim Cahill scored for Australia at 35 minutes to get the Socceroos back in the game. Chile added another goal in stoppage time of the second half by Jean Beausejour to make the final 3-1.
Chile had 11 shots and 9 on goal. Australia had 13 shots with 6 on goal. Australia had 18 fouls to 9 for Chile. Chile dominated possession holding the ball 62% of the time. Chile had 3 corners to one for Australia. Each team was called for offsides once.
Spain is managed by Vicente del Bosque. He will make several changes to his line-up after the Dutch debacle. Spain will use a 4-3-3 formation. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas still one of the World’s best keepers had the worst performance of his career against the Dutch. Still he is expected to keep his starting spot, mainly because back-up David De Gea is out for the tournament with a hip injury. Javi Martinez is expected to start in place of Gerald Pique on defense. Pedro could start at forward in place of David Silva. Cesc Fabregas could start in place of Diego Costa.
Chile is coached by Jorge Sampaoli. Chile will use a 4-3-1-2 formation. Forward Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 7 of the last 9 goals for Chile. Midfielder Arturo Vidal played only an hour against Australia in his first game back from knee surgery in May. Sampaoli hopes he can play longer with a match under his belt. Chile needs to be better at defending crosses as they struggled against Australia. Claudio Bravo is the keeper for Chile.
Spain faced a must win in the group stage against Chile in 2010 after losing their first match. They won that game and became the first team to win the World Cup after losing their first match. They will need a repeat of that performance or the Golden Age of Spanish soccer which has included a World Cup and two European championships in six years could be over. I think an angry Spain team responds and gets the win 1-0.
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