Cup Finals Blog

The World United Through Football

Group B – Spain’s Reputation in Tatters

The World Cup holders’ billing as ‘the team to beat’ in Group B sank quicker than the Spanish Armada, as their fellow 2010 finalists, Holland, became the new team to back for a direct, attacking route to the knockout stage.

Oh, the pain in Spain as the current World and European champions looked a shadow of their former selves.

Perhaps the Dutch assault was inspired by an earlier penalty awarded against them for Diego Costa’s trailing leg theatrics.

As the perceived villains of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Final, Netherlands needed to restore their reputation as a footballing nation, and banish Spain’s to the archives.

Iker Casillas has never looked so all at sea with his hands by his side as Robin van Persie’s dipping header, just before half-time, floated over his head.

After watching Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique later pirouette cluelessly in front of him, to allow Arjen Robben a clear view on goal just after the break, Casillas himself flapped at a free-kick to play a part in conceding the third, and lost concentration to be robbed of the ball for the fourth.

Were it not for a double save later on, and an earlier rattle of the woodwork Spain’s total collapse could have been much worse than five.

A few hours later, Chile proved too hot for Australia and will probably relish their meeting with a deflated Espana in Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday.

June 14, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Match Reports, Spain | , | Leave a comment

2014 World Cup Preview – Group B

As World Cup holders, Spain will want to – and should – reach the knockout stage. Much will depend on how the Spaniards get on in their opening match; against the Dutch, in Salvador de Bahia.

If Holland’s Louis van Gaal can forget about Manchester United for a fortnight and focus on the job in hand, we could be in for a treat.

It’s not guaranteed that both the European teams will advance from Group B, as Chile look a hot prospect for one of the places; especially if they start with a comfortable win against the Aussies in Cuiaba.

The Socceroos might steal a goal or two in their group matches but will most probably score zero points out of a possible nine.

Australia may only be making up the numbers in Brazil, but they could get lucky and host the tournament in 2022; if the Qatar bribery scandal gathers momentum.

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Spain | | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: