Spain saw its hopes of a second consecutive World Cup title shattered here Wednesday with a 2-0 loss to Chile that signaled La Roja’s elimination from the 2014 tourney.
Stunned 5-1 by the Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2010 final - in their first group stage match, the Spaniards came up against a dynamic, ambitious Chilean side in the second contest.
All that’s left for Spain is a meaningless final match against Australia, eliminated earlier Wednesday by the Dutch.
Chile, already assured of advancing to the knockout stage, will have a chance to grab first place in Group B when they square off with the Netherlands next Monday.
The clash Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracana stadium was practically a home match for the Chileans, with 30,000 of their compatriots among the capacity crowd of 74,374.
Spain withstood the initial Chilean onslaught, but an offensive giveaway by Xabi Alonso set up a goal in the 20th minute by Chile’s Eduardo Vargas.
The South American squad made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute, when an unmarked Charles Aranguiz tapped in the rebound after Iker Casillas turned aside Alexis Sanchez’s shot.
Vicente del Bosque’s decision to send in the youngster Koke for Alonso made Spain a better team in the second half, but it was not enough.