Must win for Spain against Chile
Spain need to win against Chile on Wednesday for a chance to remain in the World Cup after the defending champions lost 5-1 to The Netherlands in their opening Group B game.
“Chile is like a final for us,” captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas said at the weekend, highlighting the pressure facing the team after the humiliating defeat. “A draw is too little.”
Spain manager Vincente del Bosque was defiant after the defeat, saying that his players still have a good opportunity to do well in Brazil.
Spain are in danger of becoming the first reigning champions to get bounced from the group stage since France in 2002 – without a goal and just one point.
Chile, who won their first game by beating Australia 3-1, have no illusion about the challenge they face against a team that includes top players like Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas. “We need a complete game against dangerous opponents like these,” Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said.
A victory against Spain will all but secure Chile a place in the second round. “I believe that Chile can win the World Cup,” forward Alexis Sanchez said this week.
“If I did not believe this, I would have stayed home and watched television,” added the Barcelona player.
The Netherlands, which have never won the World Cup and have a history of startling starts followed by dramatic defeats at later stages of international tournaments, will face Australia in the first match of the day.
A win would move the Dutch to six points and almost certainly seal them a spot in the last 16.
“Whether this 5-1 victory is historic or not depends on what happens later in the tournament,” said Dutch striker Arjen Robben, who scored two goals against Spain.
“We won 3-0 against world champions Italy and 4-1 against France and later collapsed against Russia,” added the Bayern Munich player, referring to Netherlands’ defeat in the quarterfinal of the Euro 2008 tournament.
The final match of the day is in Group A, where Cameroon will play Croatia. Both teams will be looking to pick up their first win of the 2014 World Cup. Croatia dropped the opener to hosts Brazil 3-1 while Cameroon lost their first game 1-0 to Mexico.