World Cupdate: Spain Bows Out In Spectacular Style!

Eduardo Vargas, far right, getting through Spain's Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas .

In a stunning turn of events, Spain (reigning World Champions) has been eliminated from the 2014 World Cup after losing 2-0 to Chile. The topic has been trending online and around the world, with the New York Times also reporting on a strange event that happened in the lead up to the match.

A mob of nearly 100 excited Chilean fans barged a stadium gate a few hours before a match. The unruly gang of die-hard supporters broke fences and crashed the news media center inside the arena (just imagine the scene!). A temporary wall was destroyed and all out chaos broke out inside the Brazilian arena. The police then promptly arrived to lead the excitable fans back outside.

Later, during the game, the vibrations in the air were downright vitriolic. Chilean fans yelled “El-im-in-a-do! El-im-in-a-do!” (eliminated), their red shirts an intimidating ocean swallowing the Spanish team whole. The game was practically a whitewash, with Spain seemingly tired and perhaps in a bad head space. The majority of the crowd in the stadium were boisterous Chilean fans, sure, but the previous 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands would’ve shattered the confidence of any professional sportspeople under enormous pressure to live up to a previous victory.

The pressure of the game and the massive sensation that is the World Cup can take winners and turn them into losers overnight. Though the team is now legendary, it’s become apparent that Spain’s prize winning crew is maybe a bit too old and soft for the speedy style of football played in Latin America.

In a thick press conference after the disappointing match, star player Casillas said he couldn’t explain to fans exactly what had happened. The obviously wounded icon seemed genuinely bruised, even going so far as to apologize to the team’s fans for letting them down in such a public and inconceivable way.“They should know that we gave all we had,” he said. “This squad didn’t deserve to go out like this.”

All of this puts Australia in good stead to try and finish third in the table, a solid and noble result in what was once considered to be a nightmarish pool. But with Spain practically down and out, they’ve got nothing to lose. The bedraggled team might try a final push for dignity and redemption, a rally that might not work against Australia’s younger and leaner team (sans star striker Cahill). Today, a lot of online chatter has been building around Cahill’s surprise yellow card, an incident that will no doubt have ramifications on the game with Spain.

Whatever the outcome of this year’s World Cup, it’s always amazing to watch the world game played at such an incredible level. Champions can bite the dust and Davids can rise up against genuine Goliaths. This is the appeal and glamour of an event that is drawing in millions of new followers with each progressive tournament. Here’s hoping the rest of the game play is just as exciting and shocking!

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