Group B: Spain vs. Chile
What’s at stake
Spanish pride. Enough said.
Spain has won eight of its previous 10 matchups against Chile. But Chile opened 2014 with a victory. Each team wants a strong second match.
- Spain: Xabi Alonso. A seasoned international and club player, Alonso scored Spain’s only goal against the Dutch. Spain needs Alonso to help rekindle its World Cup aspirations.
- Chile: Alexis Sanchez. This Barca forward scored the first goal for Chile against Australia. He’s a leader who helps get his team fired up.
What to watch for
Spain likes to posses the ball. But that approach can falter against fast-paced counter attacks.
The Chile-Australia match was closer than the score would suggest. Chile played well and came away with full points. But the Chileans really have to amp-up their game against an angry and embarrassed Spain.
They said it
- “Practically nothing went right for us. This game is over. We have to put it behind us and look to the next one.” — Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta told reporters after losing to the Netherlands.
- “They have a superlative history in [major tournaments] so we definitely will have to play better than we did today. It will certainly be an electrifying game.” — Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli speaking about his upcoming match with Spain after defeating Australia.
The Big Number
5 — Losing 5-1 was Spain’s worst World Cup defeat in its history.
Obligatory Fun Fact
Chilean midfielder Marcelo Diaz ran 12.8 kilometres in his match against Australia.