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Spain out, Chile advance

English.news.cn   2014-06-19 06:15:39

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Highly-spirited Chile stunned Spain 2-0 in their World Cup Group B second-round match here on Wednesday, sending the defending world champions packed and fixing a last-16 berth for themselves.

Valencia striker Eduardo Vargas gifted Chile the 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez burst through the Spanish defense, finding Charles Aranguiz free. Aranguiz made a through cross to Vargas who touched past the stranded Spain keeper Iker Casillas and hammered home.

Vargas, 25, was elected the Man of the Match.

Aranguiz lifted Chile to 2-0 on 43 minutes when Sanchez hit a free kick from distance which Casillas punched out unconvincingly. The ball dropped to Aranguiz and he poked at goal past the wrongfooted Casillas.

Spain coach Del Bosque made big changes in today's starting line-up, leaving crucial defender Gerard Pique and playmaker Xavi Hernandez on the bench. But the result was not satisfying.

Although Atletico Madrid ace forward Diego Costa was a prolific striker in domestic league and European Champions League, he could not get used to the playing style of the national team. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who replaced Costa in today's second half, shared the same problem with Costa.

Although Spain boasted 56 percent of ball possession, they squandered too many scoring chances just at the goalmouth.

Chile's counter-attacks were too sharp today and they showcased stronger will to win the match.

In the first round matches of Group B, the Netherlands humiliated Spain 5-1 and Chile tamed Australia 3-1. The first match of the group's second round had ended with the Dutch team's 3-2 win over the Aussies.

Now, the Netherlands and Chile all advance to the knockout stage, both with six points from two matches. Their clash in the third round will decide the group winners. The Group B qualifiers will face the winners and runners-up of Group A containing hosts Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.

Spain and Australia turned out to be the first batch of teams out of the 32-day tournament which just entered its seventh day of competition.

Three World Cup holders had been eliminated in the group stages: Italy (1950 and 2010), Brazil (1966), France (2002). Brazil 2014 is the second edition in a row that the holders are packed in group stage.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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