Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chile 2 Spain 0

Usually such declarations are made prematurely and falsely, but when Xabi Alonso joined Xavi on the bench at halftime with Spain down 2-0, an era began to end. At the final whistle, it ended.

Spain didn't have enough answers for Chile's press and commitment to attack. For me, it started up top for La Roja. Spain can't close down and control a midfield against an attacking side the way it once did without an in-form, channel-cruising striker -- or at least a functional false nine.

Mourn Spain, yes, but mostly credit Chile. Jorge Sampaoli gave the neutral fan all it could ask for and more, throwing everything at the defending champs the way he does against every team.

NSC Man of the Match: Charles Aranguiz
A goal and an assist in a 2-0 eliminating of the best team of this era, that'll do it.

- Jacob Klinger


justinwkoehn said...

The end of an era indeed. Three major championships in a row is something to be proud of. I did pick the sexy darkhorse Chile to advance, but it was at the expense of the dutch. Who is the next big team to bow out early?

Barrett said...

For me, Xabi Alonso finally sitting was a huge "about f-n time!" moment. As I wrote on another site, it took a game and half where they were outscored 7-0 in the run of play for the coach to finally admit that perhaps two defensive midfielders was neither improving the offense nor solidifying the defense.

Neither of those guys play with a partner on their club teams, and should't be doing so for Spain. It robs them of attacking options they possess in spades. While not ultimately succeeding at scoring, they looked far more dangerous after removing Xabi Alonso than they had managed in the entire rest of the tournament.

I was also surprised he went with Torres instead of David Villa, given their different club form, when replacing Costa.

Jacob Klinger said...

@justin Would Portugal count as big enough? A Costa Rica draw or better against Italy ends England's tournament.

@Barrett If you get a chance, watch the game on WatchESPN from the above and behind-the goal camera angle with no commentary. It's fascinating.

Agreed re: Torres. Like I said, I'm more inclined to blame the lacking forward play than Iker Casillas.