Three key points from Spain′s World Cup exit | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.06.2014
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Three key points from Spain's World Cup exit

Spain's 2-0 defeat to Chile has seen them eliminated from the World Cup. The titleholders were woeful from their first kick in Brazil, and have no one but themselves to blame for their shocking group stage exit.

Poor defense, zero attacking creativity and a lack of general cohesion saw Spain become the third consecutive reigning World Cup champion from Europe to be eliminated in the following tournament's group stage. Here are three key points to take away from the match:

Spain's defense didn't come to Brazil. The Spanish team's problems started at the back. Goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas is in poor form. Two consecutive weak performances between the sticks have raised questions about his place in the squad. His defense let him down on both goals Chile scored on Wednesday. Nonetheless, he shoulders part of the blame for poorly handling the Alexis Sanchez free kick that Charles Aranguiz followed to put the Chileans up 2-0.

WM 2014 Gruppe B 2. Spieltag Spanien Chile

Where does this loss leave Casillas and Spain's aging golden generation?

In front of Casillas, Vincente del Bosque dropped Gerard Pique in place of Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez for team's second match. Martinez often struggled in the Bundesliga against pacey teams that pressed - exactly the sort of performance the Chileans put in on Wednesday. The entire back line was picked apart on Chile's first goal - which ended with Eduardo Vargas finishing off a perfectly-executed counterattack in front of an empty net. After Casillas poorly parried Sanchez's free kick, the Spanish defenders just stood and watched the ball as Aranguiz fired in the Chileans' second goal.

Spain's overall goals record in their first two games speaks for itself: one scored, seven conceded.

So much for Diego Costa. In 126 minutes of World Cup action, the much-heralded Brazilian-born forward has so far failed to register a single shot on goal. Costa limped through the end of his club season at Atletico Madrid, and although he was deemed physically fit for the tournament, he lacked match sharpness.

The 25-year-old's lone contribution in Spain's first two games was drawing the penalty in the 5-1 loss to the Netherlands. But even there, replays showed that Costa wasn't fouled, and sold the contact to the referee.

Chile are improving. While often the superior side in their opening match against a young Australia, the Chileans left plenty of question marks about their form against more experienced teams.

WM 2014 Gruppe B 2. Spieltag Spanien Chile

Spain may be getting worse with age, but high-octane Chile are only getting better as the tournament goes on

From start to finish on Wednesday, however, Chile were dominant. The attacking trio of Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Eduardo Vargas were a nightmare for Spain. At the back, Mauricio Isla was a defensive mountain against a Spanish side desperate to score (particularly Iniesta, who appeared to be the only Spain player to show up on Wednesday). Claudio Bravo was impeccable in goal, and deserves great credit for keeping the clean sheet in his team's second match.

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