Football

Published on June 18th, 2014 | by John Lyons

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Magnificent Chile dump Spain out of the World Cup

Jorge Sampaoli´s Chile produced a stunning performance to beat Spain for the first time – and knock the holders out of the World Cup.
La Roja took the lead in the 20th minute after pinching possession and breaking with speed on the right. The move ended with the tireless Charles Aránguiz laying the ball across goal for Eduardo Vargas, who coolly sidestepped Iker Casillas and poked the ball home.
That put Chile in a great position and things got even better just two minutes before the break. Casillas could only parry Alexis Sánchez´s free-kick and the inspired Aránguiz took full advantage. He controlled the ball in an instant and then toe-punted it high into the net.
That gave la Roja vital breathing space and they held on to their 2-0 lead comfortably in the second half. Skipper Claudio Bravo pulled off some great saves, while the defensive back three of Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara and Francisco Silva all had superb games.
Even six minutes of stoppage time at the world-famous Maracaná weren´t enough to save the Spaniards, who are out of the competition following two straight defeats.
The picture is a lot brighter for Chile. Two successive wins in Group B mean that they and group leaders Holland – who beat Australia 3-2 in a thriller – are already through to the last 16.
La Roja will meet the Dutch on Monday in a match which will decide who wins Group B – and possibly avoids a last 16 tie against hosts Brazil.
Chile boss Sampaoli saluted his troops after they stunned Spain.
The former Universidad de Chile boss said: “I´m very happy for the players because of the effort they´ve put in. The team met the challenge in front of them.”
Captain Claudio Bravo said: “We are very happy because we put in an enormous effort. Our story against Spain was negative before.
“We´re going to confront every game the same way.”
And Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal added: “It was an historic win and very important for us, but that´s not the end. I hope we can be champions of the world.”
The victory was Chile´s first against Spain in 11 attempts and should give them masses of confidence for the challenges to come.
On this form, who knows how far they can go. The army of fans in Brazil and the supporters celebrating on the streets of Santiago this evening are dreaming of glory.

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