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World Cup pre-game: Spain vs. Chile

Spain will be looking to regroup from a 5-1 defeat at the hand of the Ducth when it faces Chile in Group B Wednesday (CBC, CBC.ca/fifaworldcup).

Chile a strong opponent in this Group B match

Xabi Alonso (14) was the lone bright spot in Spain’s 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands on Friday. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

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.

Impact players

  • Spain: XabiAlonso. 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.​

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