Soccer News of Wed, 18 Jun 20145
Spain’s period of domination ends with a whimper
Euro 2008. World Cup 2010. Euro 2012. Now, defeated. Spain's stranglehold over international football ends here. Loyalty to certain players and the key introduction of another brought about the end of this particular era.
A team built on quick passing, ball retention, tigerish tackling and high-energy pressing were beaten at their own game by a Chile side that dominated physically and, just as importantly, took their chances when they came.
From the moment Eduardo Vargas neatly sidestepped Iker Casillas to put the South Americans in front after a lovely flowing move, there was rarely a sense Vicente del Bosque’s men would salvage anything from an absorbing encounter.
They created chances - Xabi Alonso lashed wastefully over the bar after good work from Diego Costa, Costa himself fired into the side-netting and Sergio Ramos missed his kick when well placed.
The profligacy was symptomatic of Spain’s display. There was a lack of conviction from one to 11.
The malaise started, not for the first time, with Casillas. And it was his mistake which contributed to Chile’s second goal, punching Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick back into the danger zone from where Charles Aranguiz toe-poked home.
Vicente del Bosque had paid the price for loyalty.