Spain 2 Chile 1 – Del Bosque’s men avoid Brazil

In a sentence

Off-colour Spain are helped to victory by  a mad dash from Chile’s keeper and an early sending-off.


Not looking like favourites

Spain are another European team who have been poor in the group stages (at least they are still in South Africa). The opening of the game saw their defensive sluggishness easily exposed by the confident Chileans.

And it didn’t look much better going forward. Spain won without ever generating a sustained period of pressure. Xavi and Iniesta were not bossing proceedings in the way so familiar from La Liga and Euro 2008.


Flying wingers

The two most eye-catching players on the pitch were the Chilean wingers. Sanchez has the skill to go past players while Beausejour has explosive pace. Can they rattle Dunga’s back-line?


Why do you want to play Brazil?

The majority of the second half was excruciating. Much of this was due to Spain’s successful keep-ball but surely Chile, knowing a goal would win the group and avoid Brazil, could have been a bit more positive?


What next?

Spain will improve enough to beat Portugal. They still have the quality to win this tournament and perhaps a victory over their Iberian rivals will provide a kick-start.

Chile might cause a wobble for Brazil but there will no upset.


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