Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Brazil WC 2014 - Australia vs Holland + Spain vs Chile, LIVE COMMENTARY:

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have a LIVE Commentary of the Group B match between underdogs Australia and one of the favourites to go all the way to the final, Holland. 

Before I give you some of the background information ahead of this World Cup group stage match, here is a match report of the game which was played yesterday evening, between the hosts Brazil and fellow South Americans Mexico:

The winner (provided that there was a winner) of this one would virtually seal a qualifying place into the knock-out rounds. 

On paper, this game would be an interesting one to see how Brazil cope with a decent form of opposition in the form of Mexico. Mexico are a decent team with some individual good players, and a good team-ethic around the group. 

Here were the team line-ups going into the game - 

Brazil: Cesar, Alves, Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo, Ramires, Oscar, Neymar and Fred. 

Subs: Jefferson, Victor, Fernandinho, Hulk, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Hernanes, Willian, Bernard, Jo and Maicon.

Mexico: Ochoa, Aguillar, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun, Herrera, Vazquez, Guardado, dos Santos and Peralta.

Subs: Corona, Salcido, Reyes, Fabian, Jimenez, Pulido, Hernandez, Ponce, Brizuela, Aquino, Pena and Talavera.

A hard-earned draw for Mexico proved Brazil’s defensive frailities and the clear lack of a “Plan B”, as Scolari’s men struggled to break down their opponents in-front of the loud Forteleza crowd. A below-par Brazil were simply not up to standard as they failed to convert their chances; much to the goalkeeping heroics of Guillermo Ochoa, who made 6 or 7 great saves to keep his side in the match and earn a deserved clean sheet for himself, as well as the Man Of The Match award.

Neymar & Co were unable to force the issue, and the likes of Marcelo and Luiz looked shaky at the back, with the likes of Guardado and dos Santos both looking dangerous on the counter attack for the Mexicans especially in the second-half. Neymar was unlucky with a few half-chances either side of half-time, but credit again goes to Ochoa and his solid Mexican defence.

The 0-0 draw just emphasises the fact that Brazil did not deserve to beat Croatia 3-1 on the opening night, and their distinct lack of another plan highlights the fact that they are not yet up to standard and expect the upcoming team (that they face) to have a poor defence, otherwise they are unable to score. 

Good going forward, poor going back - they simply did not move the ball quick enough and failed to impress with many of the players not getting directly involved in the play, culminating in a lacklustre performance for the neutrals and the Brazilian supporters who expected more from their team. 

This was proved by the lack of movement and enthusiasm of striker Fred. Not exactly the quickest on the field of play, but he should have put in more effort and worked harder than he did for the hour that he was on. Poor, was consequently substituted. Brazil looked brighter afterwards, but failed to score regardless.

Everyone was shocked after Holland came back from a goal behind to beat the current world champions Spain 5-1 on Friday night. Will they continue their fine form with another win against Australia, in a mis-match of quality?

Super strike: Robin van Persie's audacious header paid off, a long-range finish against Spain
Domination: Bayern winger Robben celebrates his second of two goals Spain were taken apart.
A win would virtually seal Holland's place in the World Cup Last 16, but who knows? Australia could provide a shock, they need to get a positive result out of this match after their 3-1 loss to Chile.

Chile beat Australia 3-1 in their opening fixture, can they get a result against Holland now?
Here are the team line-ups (and substitutes) for the match, with an unchanged Holland team from their rout against Spain:

Australia: Ryan, Davidson, Cahill, Spiranovic, Leckie, Oar, Jedniak, McKay, McGowan, Wilkinson and Bresciano.

Subs: Langerak, Wright, Taggart, Halloran, Bozanic, Troisi, Holland, Vidosic, Luongo and Galekovic.

Holland: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, De Jong, Janmaat, De Guzman, van Persie, Sneijder and Robben.

Subs: Vorm, Krul, Verhaegh, Veltman, Kongolo, Kuyt, Clasie, Lens, Fer, Huntelaar, Wijnaldum and Depay.

Referee - Djamel Haimoudi (from Algeria)

16:35 - Some facts and stats about this group stage fixture: 
  • Holland are unbeaten in their last 11 group stage matches. 
  • But, Australia have NOT lost to them in their last three meetings between the two (winning one and drawing twice).
  • Former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill is officially the only Australian to score at three separate World Cup finals (2006, 2010 and 2014) 

16:40 - I digress momentarily to bring you news of the official opening day fixtures of the 2014-15 season in the EPL.

United host Swansea, City travel to Newcastle and Liverpool play against Southampton are all among the opening day fixtures.
There will be a blog post published (sometime after the World Cup) analyzing these interesting fixtures.

16:50 - The teams are walking out of the tunnel. 10 minutes to go until the start.

16:55 - National anthems time. Australia first.

16:57 - Both anthems completed, game is just a few minutes from starting.

17:00 - The referee blows his whistle, and the game is underway. Australia vs Holland, here we go!

1: Strong early challenge by AC Milan midfielder Nigel De Jong, he clatters into an Australian player and it's a free-kick. 

2: Young Holland defender Bruno Martins Indi is clutching his ankle on the turf, doesn't look good. Replays show that Tim Cahill clipped his ankle when challenging for the ball, and the follow-through was why Martins Indi has felt the full force of the impact. 

3: Martins Indi is receiving treatment, standing gingerly on the touchline. Hopefully he'll be able to continue. 

4: Martins Indi has returned to the pitch, he'll continue. Australia doing their best to get to their opponents, makiing them angry and forget about playing the game. 

6: Australia have a half-chance almost, as a decent cross into the box by Leckie is comfortably caught by goalkeeper Cillessen under pressure.  

8: Offside flag is raised against van Persie, a long-ball by full-back Blind falls to the Manchester United striker, but his movement is delayed and replays show that he strayed offside. Good call by the linesman on the far side.

10: Good defensive work by Australia, they've made sure that Holland have not scored as of yet or had any real clear goalscoring chances.

12: van Persie has barely had a touch of the ball yet, Holland cannot find him. Credit to Australia.

15: Half-chance for Australia, Leckie weaves past Martins Indi before seeking a through ball pass on the edge of the area for Mark Bresciano - he attempts to shoot but is consequently blocked and the ball trickles out for a corner.

16: Corner comes of nothing as Holland diffuse the danger in the area. However, Tim Cahill is not happy about the referee's decision to award a free-kick after he feels that he was held back by Martins Indi in the area.

17: Half-chance for Holland is comfortably caught by Australia goalkeeper Matthew Ryan after an in-swinging free-kick into the box is headed on by van Persie, the effort bounces into the ground and Australia can clear.

19: GOAL! The power of the counter attack is emphasised as Holland break the deadlock despite a slow start! Robben wins the ball near the centre circle, takes it in his stride and beats his man before speeding towards the goalkeeper and slotting it into the bottom corner of the net.

Low into the corner of the net: Robben broke the deadlock on the counter attack
Three for me: Robben celebrates his third goal of the tournament in the space of 2 games
20: GOAL! The game's burst into life! Just seconds after conceding, Australia go on the counter attack and make it 1-1! Cahill finds the ball in his path on the edge of the area, he doesn't hesitate and volleys the ball first time into the top corner of the net. WHAT A GOAL!

Tim Cahill with a first-time volley into the roof of the net to equalise straight after Robben's goal
What a goal: Cahill's well-struck volley rifled into the net, out of Cillessen's reach
21: Two quick-fire goals, and the game has been turned on its head! Robben shows his pace and power before a thunder strike by Tim Cahill, his third of the tournament and arguably the goal of the tournament so far! 

23: Robben has now scored 8 goals in his last 8 appearances for Holland. 

25: Half-chance for Holland, a free header for Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar but the resulting chance is wide of the goal.

26: Possession stats almost the same in the early going, both sides have had one shot on target each and one goal. 1-1, two great finishes at either end.

27: 71 international appearances, and 34 goals for Tim Cahill. I backed him to have an impact on the game for Australia, he is after all their talisman.

30: CHANCE! Leckie does well again on the flank, beats his marker for pace before pulling the ball back into the area, where Bresciano runs fowrard and sidefoots an effort narrowly over the crossbar. Close to 2-1 for Australia, good chance there.

32: Australia have another half-chance, but this time it is comfortable for Cillessen in the Netherlands goal. 

34: They have defended well so far today, but Robben's opener just highlights the fact that if you take your eye off the ball for a second you will get punished at the highest level. 

40: Australia doing well to try and shut out Holland, they've cleared done their homework ahead of the game. Frustrating them, not giving them space and making sure they cannot give the ball to the likes of van Persie, who has been quiet so far.

43: Yellow card for Cahill, after he collides with Martins Indi. Problem for Australia; he was booked in the defeat against Chile and now he'll miss the last match of the group game against Spain. 

44: Martins Indi again injured, this time it looks as though it could be the end of his game. Stretcher and physio rush onto the pitch. 

45: Sad sight to see for the youngster, the end of his match today and possibly the group stage if not the tournament. 

Hopefully he is okay and can continue if Holland progress, a problem for manager Louis van Gaal.

45: Cameras show that young winger Memphis Depay is getting ready to come on, with possibly only seconds to play of the first-half. No indication of how long the stoppage time is, but obviously more after Martins Indi' injury.

46: Holland SUB:
Bruno Martins Indi (injury) OFF
Memphis Depay ON

48: The referee blows his whistle to end the first-half of action in Porto Alegre.

Australia will be the happier of the two sides going into the break, they have had a clear game plan and it has worked so far. Unlucky to have conceded, but Cahill's goal was thoroughly deserved and it is currently 1-1 at half-time.

Absolutely fantastic finish by Cahill, arguably the goal of the tournament so far and has obviously lifted the rest of his team.

Holland have looked dangerous on the counter attack, but have not seen as much of the ball in the opposing half as they would like to. Credit to Australia for that, they have shut them out and purposely made sure that they do not have any space or time on the ball, which has worked so far. 

18:02 - The referee blows his whistle, and the second-half has begun. 1-1, no substitutions for either side but Holland change their formation to a 4-3-3 after Martins Indi's injury. 

45: Bit of fortune for Holland as Leckie scores but the referee blows his whistle for an apparent foul inside the box, the defender came across and fell over despite barely any contact by the Australian. Controversial, Australia are unlucky not to be leading after that decision.

46: Yellow card for Robin van Persie, who clearly appears to elbow the Australian defender Matthew Spiranovic who goes to ground. Lucky to be on the pitch after that, and he will miss the last group stage match against Chile next week.
Silly: van Persie appears to elbow Spiranovic in the face when jostling for the ball
50: Half-chance for Holland is parried by the fingertips of Australia goalkeeper Matthew Ryan, who dives to his right to deal with the impending danger after a stinging strike from Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

51: Resulting corner comes of nothing as Australia clear the danger. 

52: Australia SUB - 
Mark Bresciano OFF
Oliver Bozanic ON

53: PENALTY! Australia have a chance to make it 2-1! A clear handball by defender Janmaat inside the area from Bozanic's attempted cross is penalized by the referee who decides to point to the spot and the Aussies have a great chance to go ahead! 

54: Captain and Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak steps up to take the penalty, no pressure.

GOAL! He sends the keeper the wrong way and slots the ball into the far corner of the net!

Jedinak puts Australia in the lead from the spot, slotting the ball into the corner of the net.
Ahead, for now: Australian players celebrate the penalty with captain Jedinak (number 15)
55: Australia are ahead against Holland. You read that right, but for how long? FACT - Australia are the lowest ranked team in the competition.

58: GOAL! Another quick-fire double, this time from Manchester United striker Robin van Persie who joins team-mate Robben on 3 goals for the tournament so far. 

A through ball pass is straight into the Dutchman's path inside the area, kept onside by the trailing Australian defender before he takes one touch and smashes the ball into the top corner of the net. 

Robin van Persie made it 2-2 after staying onside to smash into the corner of the net
van Persie celebrates his goal; Holland were fired up to go and win after Jedinak's goal.
60: Who would have thought it? Australia 2, Holland 2 after 60 minutes of play. 

A good game to watch as a neutral, but Holland have been exposed at the back and they need to watch out in future games if they are to go all the way. Good effort by the Australians, making this one a good spectacle. 

61: Since he has come on the pitch, he has been a nuisance on the flank for the Australians and has looked good both on and off the ball. Who you ask? Young PSV winger Memphis Depay.

63: Close call for van Persie, almost given his second yellow card of the game. He does win the ball, but also takes the man in a 50-50 challenge with Jedinak in the Australian half as the Crystal Palace man goes to ground. 

64: Replays show that it could have resulted in a serious injury for Jedinak, who is thankfully okay after the challenge. His leg buckled as he was getting tackled by van Persie, he could have broken a few bones there. 

67: GOAL! Holland ahead again! Depay with a swerving shot from 25-yards out, and goalkeeper Matthew Ryan should be doing better with the effort but he parries it to the side and it hits the back of the net.
Memphis Depay celebrates his goal after goalkeeper Matthew Ryan's mistake (below)
Unlucky: Ryan dived to his left but was unable to stop the swerving shot from bouncing past him.
Unlucky for Australia, but Holland will take it. The young substitute puts Holland back in-front.

68: Holland have a half-chance again, to make it 4-2. Depay runs down the wing and finds Robben, but his resulting shot is well blocked by the Australian defence.

69: When you look back at the replay, it makes it worse but to be fair, where is the defence? No pressure, gave Depay too much space to shoot and they are behind once again. 

70: Australia SUB:
Tim Cahill OFF
Ben Halloran ON

Cahill has done well today, worked hard for the team and tracked back when Holland have had the ball. Tired legs coming into play, Australia need to get back into the match and soon if they want to get a result out of a match that they deserve. Wonder-strike for the equaliser, that will be talked about for years to come.

72: Holland keep up the pressure as they push men forward, first van Persie, then Robben and then Sneijder with half-chances within minutes of making it 3-2. They are hungry for more goals now.

75: Good save by Australian goalkeeper Matthew Ryan who makes up for his earlier error to parry away the danger from a free-kick by Robben, before he does well again to deny Nigel De Jong from close range. 

76: Australia SUB: 
Tommy Oar OFF
Adam Taggart ON

77: Australian winger Leckie runs forward on the ball inside the Holland half on the flank, before being brought down in the area by Janmaat. The referee waves away protests of another penalty, this time he signals for a goal-kick.

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar goes across to Leckie and angrily confronts him, possibly accusing him of trying to get a penalty out of nothing. 

Leckie was brought down, but it appeared as though he ran into the challenge instead of being fouled otherwise.

79: Holland SUB: 
Jonathan de Guzman OFF
Georginio Wijnaldum ON

80: 10 minutes to play, and a diving header from De Jong inside the header blocks the potential threat of another equaliser from an Australian free-kick.

82: If it stays like this, it will be Holland's very first win against Australia. You didn't believe me did you? 

83: On the verge of 6 points from their first two matches, the first game was comfortable and dominant, but this game has not been the same. Australia have worked hard today, and are unlucky to be behind.

85: A chorus of boos are directed towards Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, who is seen on the far side stretching his hamstring on the ground looking in some discomfort. 

The referee runs towards the Dutchman, and he gradually gets to his feet.

86: IF the game between Spain and Chile ends in a draw, Holland will have secured their place in the Last 16. 

87: Holland SUB:
Robin van Persie OFF
Jeremain Lens ON

Lens comes on for van Persie, who has played well but will not be able to play in their last group stage match against Chile. 3 goals in two games, now the Manchester United man gets a rest ahead of the knock-out rounds.

Fresh legs, and a turn of pace for the last few minutes of the game.

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match. 3 minutes for Australia to salvage a result. 

90+1: Good defensive work by Depay, he sprints down the flank to win the ball back and run back up forward before finding Sneijder.

90+1: Holland just want to get the game over with, 3 points in the bag and for the players to rest. The message from the bench will be "No late drama please."

90+2: Snapshot from Lens on the far post is parried away by goalkeeper Matthew Ryan. Final charge?

90+3: The referee blows the whistle for full-time. 

Australia will feel hard done by, having stuck to their game plan and playing a good game of football against a strong opponent in the form of Holland today. 

Unlucky not to get a result out of the match - goals from Robben, van Persie and Depay give Holland 6 points out of a possible 6 ahead of the final group stage match up against Chile next week.

2 good performances, and nothing to show for. You have to feel for Australia; they have worked hard and have been punished by more experienced teams who know how to get the job done, whether they deserve to win or not.

An end-to-end game finishes in Holland's favour as they show their quality against an unlucky Australian side. 


And after that narrow Holland win, there is huge pressure on the world champions Spain in Group B. 

IF they lose today against South Americans Chile, the defending champions will be OUT of the competition in the group stage.

Something to think about: IF the defending champions Spain do not win today, they will be OUT.
You do not want to miss their match against Chile, which kicks off in just under an hour. 

Expect goals, drama, controversy and urgency from a Spain side who lost their opening game against Switzerland in the 2010 World Cup, and went on to win the whole tournament. So who knows? 

19:15 - Spain will be under huge pressure tonight, Chile know that if they start the game brightly and frustrate the Spaniards they could exploit their defence, which has come under scrutiny in recent years.

The game against Holland last week emphasized the power of the counter attack, Spain simply could not handle their opponents. 

19:40 - Here are the two starting line-ups for the match:

Spain: Casillas, Azpilicueta, Javi Martínez, Ramos, Alba, Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Iniesta, Pedro, Diego Costa and Silva.

Subs: De Gea, Reina, Albiol, Pique, Juanfran, Villa, Xavi, Torres, Fabregas, Mata, Koke and Cazorla.

Chile: Bravo, Jara, Silva, Medel, Mena, Aranguiz, Díaz, Isla, Vidal, Vargas and Alexis Sanchez.

Subs: Toselli, Albornoz, Carmona, Pinilla, Valdivia, Rojas, Orellana, Beausejour, Gutierrez, Fuenzalida, Paredes and Herrera.

19:45 - No place for Fabregas, Xavi, Pique, Torres or David Villa among the Spanish talent who are on the bench today. Costa the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation: Pedro and Silva on the flanks and Iniesta playing just behind them in a creative midfield role. 

19:50 - Sanchez and Vidal will be essential for Chile tonight, those two players (along with Medel and Vargas) are the notable performers in Europe. At their best, Spain will struggle.

19:55 - The teams are out and ready for the game, but first the national anthems are being played. 

19:57 - It's clear to see that the support and advantage is definitely with Chile for this match; no-one expected this scenario to be possible after only a week of the World Cup action. Remember, anything but a win will not be enough for Spain, if they lose they are OUT of the tournament.

20:00 - The referee Mark W Geiger gets the game underway, and Spain kick-off.

1: Good start to the game for Chile, they almost force Spain to score an own goal after a lovely piece of play finds the ball in the area, bounces off Ramos and trickles past Casillas out for a corner.

Gonzalo Jara has an effort over the bar from the resulting set-piece.

2: Tense atmosphere in the stadium now; the majority of the support is for the underdogs Chile but Spain need to hit the ground running and start well otherwise they could be out. 

4: Good defensive work by Chile who swarm around Pedro and Silva near the 18-yard box and clear the potential danger away as Spain attempt to go on the counter attack.

5: Chile are tending to give the ball away; but Spain cannot counter attack quick enough with the momentum on their side as they pass around and backwards trying to find space, thus giving the Chileans time to track back to defend the danger.

7: Sliding tackle by Sanchez is late on his club team-mate Iniesta as the creative midfielder goes down under the challenge and the referee blows for a free-kick, 25 yards out.

8: Half-chance for Spain as the ball is whipped into the box as Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos lurks in the area before jumping high towards the ball. Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo anticipates the danger well and punches clear.

10: Good movement on the flank by Barcelona forward Pedro, he gets past his marker before cutting inside towards the area - but his final pass towards the path of David Silva is poor and Chile can clear.

12: Spain passing the ball well in midfield, getting through but the final ball is poor. Chile pressurizing their opponents well though. 

13: Spain free-kick, 30 yards out as Silva wins the ball and runs towards the area but is charged down by Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal who barges into the back of the Manchester City man. 

14: Wasted set-piece from the Spaniards, Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso's delivery is poor as he fails to get good contact on the ball and it goes high and wide away from Bravo's goal. Goal-kick and the opportunity has passed.

15: Spain could be ahead. Should be ahead. But aren't ahead. Diego Costa runs on the ball and takes too long to shape to shoot, the ball falls to Iniesta who plays it towards Alonso - the shot is blocked by Bravo from close range as the goal-mouth scramble is cleared away. 

16: The Chelsea-bound striker Costa really should have taken a shot there, the Chilean defenders were scrambling back towards goal and he was in a good position to test the goalkeeper.

19: GOAL! Chile ahead! Well then. Spain behind after just 19 minutes, a clean finish from striker Eduardo Vargas after a great pass-and-move to take advantage of some really sloppy play from the Spaniards. 

Calm and collected: Vargas took advantage of some sloppy Spanish play to open the scoring.
Shock lead: Vargas wheels away to celebrate his opener past a scrambling Casillas
20: Casillas was scrambling across his area, should have stayed on his feet. Ramos and Martinez were ball-watching, and Chile have taken the lead. Game on.

Don't look now: Casillas has been a shadow of his former self in this tournament, after a lack of first-team action at Real Madrid this season
21: I've said it before and I will say it again. No matter what happens in their remaining game against Australia, if Spain do not win tonight then they are OUT of the World Cup.

The defending champions, potentially out of the competition they have dominated for the past 6 years or so in the worst way possible. 

22: And now we can see whether or not Spain will react positively to going a goal behind. This is where the key players need to get on the ball, Spain need to raise their game and quickly. 

24: Two fouls in quick succession for either side; first Sanchez on Ramos before Mena on Pedro. The latter is not adjudged to be a foul, Chile goal-kick. 

25: First yellow card of the game goes to Vidal, arguably harsh as he blocks the attempted quick free-kick of Ramos to delay some time for Chile to get back and defend. The referee rushes towards the Juve man and brandishes a yellow card. 

26: CHANCE! That could have been the equaliser... Leaping header from Silva after an over-the-top cross into the area falls to Costa from close range, but his resulting shot is not hit properly and it hits the side netting. 

30: Chile free-kick and an opportunity to have a breather, arguably a soft decision by the referee as Iniesta appears to come across and tackle Isla from behind, although there is not a lot of contact from the Barcelona player.

32: A clear mis-match of strength and height, Costa outstrengths Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel and pushes him to the ground. Foul given. 

35: Lots of tackles and late challenges from both sides, feisty encounter.  

37: Visibly obvious to see that Spain are lacking pace in the final third, and even time they try to get forward they give away silly fouls and lose the attacking momentum. 

38: Chile are strong at the back so far, not giving their opponents any space which means that Spain are eager to keep hold of the ball and pass their way into the Chile half. 

40: A quick reminder that I WILL have a LIVE Commentary from two of the group stage matches being played tomorrow - Colombia vs Ivory Coast (5pm GMT) and Uruguay vs England (8pm GMT). Stay close for that. 

42: A silly foul given away by Alonso, Chile have a dangerous set-piece from 25 yards out to take. Sanchez steps over it. 

43: GOAL! Sanchez's effort is unconvincingly punched away by Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas, who punches the ball straight into the path of midfielder Charles Aranguiz who touches the ball first-time before toe-poking his effort into the top corner of the net.

Toe-poke: Aranguiz gives Chile a 2-0 lead before half-time, to exploit Spain's defensive frailties
Goal! Aranguiz celebrates his finish to double Chile's lead.
Bad decision by Casillas, should have held the initial effort and his punch was straight into the path of Aranguiz, instead of out for a corner or to one of his team-mates. Poor. 
Sanchez's free-kick was parried into the path of Aranguiz by Casillas, in the build-up to the goal.
45: The fourth official has signalled for just 2 minutes of stoppage time. Spain do not know what has hit them, 2-0 down and they are all over the place. 

A shame to be fair, Aranguiz's goal just proves that Spain are under real threat of being knocked out of the competition that they dominated, and ended up winning this time 4 years ago...

45+1: Spain in-swinging free-kick from 20 yards out with a few seconds to play of stoppage time, Alonso's ball is too high and although Ramos jumps towards the delivery, Bravo stands up tall and jumps highest to catch another poor cross from Xabi Alonso.

He doesn't look happy. 

45+2: The referee blows his whistle for half-time. 

45 minutes to go, and as it stands Spain are on course to be knocked out of the World Cup after only 7 days of this international tournament.

Spain have had all of the possession, but have not taken their chances and that has been the clear difference between them and Chile today. 

21:04 - The teams are walking out onto the pitch for the start of the second-half, with Spain making one change:

Spain SUB:
Xabi Alonso OFF
Koke ON

Not the best of games for Alonso, 45 minutes to play and he is not the most attacking of players so is consequently replaced by Atletico Madrid creative midfielder Koke, who will be expected to help lead the attack. Costa will be happy to see his club team-mate, the striker needs chances. 

45: The referee blows his whistle for the start of the second-half after Chile take their time before coming out onto the pitch.

48: Another chance goes begging for Spain, again from Costa who takes a poor touch and has a shot parried away by Bravo from close range. Should have scored in all honesty.

52: CHANCE! After that, I don't think Spain will get back into the match now. They've improved in the second-half so far but that was a glorious opportunity for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets to make it 2-1. 

He was unmarked from very (and by very I mean VERY) close range and he has an effort mis-hit past the post after Costa performs an overhead kick from the near post. He couldn't have missed. And he did. Still 2-0.

What a chance! Busquets mis-hits his opportunity to make it 2-1 from close range
How did you miss? Busquets doesn't want to look after he misses the best chance of the match
53: FACT - Today marks Busquets' 68th international cap for Spain. He is yet to score a goal. 

56: Injury problem for midfielder Aranguiz, he goes down in some considerable pain and it could be a serious injury for the Chilean goalscorer. Scored one, assisted one and he'll be a big blow if he is unable to continue.

58: He is stretchered off, but within a minute or so he soldiers onto the pitch again and limps back into action. Does not look particularly comfortable though, how long will he last?

60: Chilean Mena is given a yellow card after he takes out Busquets from behind as the Barcelona midfielder clutches his ankle in pain near the linesman on the far side. 

61: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is ready and lifting up his socks, getting ready to come on. Felipe Gutierrez is also getting ready to come into the fray - he was lined up to initially replace Aranguiz, and it looks like they are going to substitute him on as a precautionary measure.

64: One substitution each for both sides - 
SPAIN: Diego Costa OFF, Fernando Torres ON 
CHILE: Charles Aranguiz OFF, Felipe Gutierrez ON

66: Chile seem to be struggling with a few knocks, Sanchez and Vargas are limping uncomfortably. They have worked hard today, being challenged a lot. 

67: Spain have had their fair share of possession, as you would expect from them. Have not done much with it though.

68: CHANCE! Chile should be 3-0 up! Vargas has an ambitious effort low and hard towards goal, Casillas rooted to the spot as the shot trickles past him towards the near post where Mena runs towards the ball and slides in - the shot flies over the bar!

73: Spain preparing another change, Cazorla is warming up.

75: Confirmation of the substitution then -
SPAIN: Pedro OFF, Santi Cazorla ON

76: Less than a quarter of an hour left for Spain to get back into it, Chile defending well and the longer the time goes by, the less chance of getting back into the match it seems. The Arsenal midfielder replaces an ineffective Pedro who has not seen a lot of the ball today, through no fault of his own.

83: Good save by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after a half-chance out of nothing. Barcelona creative midfielder Andres Iniesta shows his class after recieving a pass before turning quickly to strike with a curling effort from 20 yards out, the shot swerves towards the crossbar but Bravo parries away for a Spain corner.

84: Corner will be taken, but after Chile can make a change - 
Eduardo Vargas OFF, Jorge Valdivia ON

85: 5 minutes left, as the corner comes of nothing. 

87: Another Chile substitution, time-wasting or saving their key players? 
Arturo Vidal OFF, Carlos Carmona ON

88: Spain have a free-kick from 25 yards out, Cazorla steps up to take the set-piece.... SAVED! by Bravo. He dives to his left to parry the low effort wide. Corner.

89: Another Spain corner comes of nothing, Ramos with an acrobatic effort but his shot is well wide and high over the Chile goal. 

90: The fourth official has signalled for 6 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match. 6 minutes for Spain to save their World Cup campaign, I don't think they can do it.

90+1: Spain push men inside the Chile area but the danger is averted away for a corner.

90+2: Danger cleared as Alba has an ambitious shot fly over the bar. 

90+3: The camera is showing all of the glum and disappointed players and Spanish supporters in the stadium; they realise that they are virtually out now and there is nothing they can do. 

90+4: You can now see the Chile players on the substitute bench getting ready to celebrate.

90+5: The referee blows his whistle to end the match in the dying seconds of the 5th minute of stoppage time.


A sad day for football, the World Cup holders are out after a lacklustre performance, and Spain become the FIFTH defending World Cup champions to be knocked out in the group stages. 

Australia have also been knocked out after this result, despite a valiant performance against Holland earlier today. 

You have to give credit for the way that Chile have approached the game, they had a clear game plan and stuck by it. They took their chances, whereas Spain were poor and a shadow of their former selves. 

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