Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
2
3
FT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
4
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
0
0
LIVE 13'
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
1
0
FT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
1
0
FT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
2
3
FT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
4
0
FT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
2
1
FT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
0
4
FT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
0
0
FT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
2
2
FT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
1
2
FT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
0
4
FT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
0
0
FT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
1
1
FT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
2
2
FT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
0
1
FT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
0
0
FT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
0
3
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
2
0
FT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
1
4
FT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
1
3
FT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
1
2
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
3
1
FT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
0
5
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
1
4
FT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
1
1
FT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
0
1
FT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
1
2
FT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
1
1
FT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
1
4
FT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
3
1
FT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
2
2
FT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
2
0
FT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
0
1
FT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
3
2
FT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
0
3
FT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
1
0
FT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
2
1
FT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
0
0
LIVE 13'
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
0
0
LIVE 6'
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
3
3
FT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
2
1
FT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
3
2
FT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
3
0
FT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6
1
FT
Game Details
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
San Antonio Scorpions
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
3
0
FT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
0
1
LIVE 45'
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
0
1
LIVE 17'
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
0
0
LIVE 2'
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
1
1
LIVE 45'
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
0
0
LIVE 45'
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
1
0
LIVE 45'
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
3
0
FT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Eduardo Alvarez
Jun 18, 2014

Del Bosque's misplaced loyalty

Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque discusses Spain's future following their elimination from the World Cup in a 2-nil loss to Chile.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- After an amazing sequence of results lasting for the best part of six years, the Spanish national team broke a new record -- in this case a negative one -- and became the first World Cup title-holders to be eliminated after only two group stage matches.

Following the 5-1 thrashing by Netherlands, the sobering 2-0 defeat to a spirited Chilean squad meant their second defeat in two matches, as well as their second consecutive loss without scoring at the Maracana, after their poor performance in the 3-0 Confederations Cup final defeat to Brazil last year.

SpainSpain
ChileChile
0
2
ESPN, ESPN3 FT
Match 19
Game Details

After a horror start, Spain knew that this fixture could represent the end of the tournament for them. Having analysed what went wrong against the Dutch, manager Vicente del Bosque decided to introduce two changes to the starting lineup, replacing a hesitant Gerard Pique with Bayern's Javi Martinez, and introducing Pedro Rodriguez in the place of his Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez. The reshaped team started in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Andres Iniesta on the left, David Silva in the middle and Pedro on the right wing, all three playing behind Diego Costa, who retained his starting spot.

The opening play, inauspicious for the team in red, showed that more change was needed. Indeed, a succession of defensive mistakes, mainly from an unrecognisably weak-footed defensive midfield pair -- Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets -- led to Chile's first chance of the match, a play that under normal circumstances should have been ended some 40 metres away from goal.

From that point, Spain tried to settle into their usual possession game, although their best chances appeared out of surprisingly big mistakes from Chile's defenders when trying to build from the back. Spain kept looking for Costa, who looked slightly more in-sync with his teammates, although still not getting quite the service he demanded. A decent chance missed by the Brazilian-born striker after 13 minutes seemed to suggest that this lineup could finally become the beginning of a new striker-centric Spain, but a few minutes later Spain relapsed again as a poor pass from Alonso was pounced upon and Eduardo Vargas fooled Iker Casillas to score.

This version of Spain has never been good at coming from behind, as they often took the lead then controlled the tempo with their keep-ball mastery. However, this time they pushed forward and found their best opportunity after 26 minutes, when Costa hit the side of the net, striking a good ball from Silva with his left foot.

Chile weathered the storm and then doubled their lead. A fantastic change of sides from left to right found the Spanish defence poorly positioned, and Alexis Sanchez ended up on the receiving end of a foul in a dangerous position. The Barcelona forward took a shot over the five-man wall -- apparently a soft-centred one. Instead of grabbing the ball, Casillas chose to hit it with his fists -- a questionable decision that was even more poorly executed -- as the ball went straight to the middle of the box, where Charles Aranguiz obligingly curled it into the back of the net. The holders would not find a way back.

While the two changes that Del Bosque introduced did not help much, it's those he decided to avoid which were the ones that led Spain to defeat. In the case of Casillas, his poor shape and errors in judgment had been evident since the Champions League final, almost a month ago. Errors mounted against Netherlands, to the point where it was obvious that his back four had lost their trust in their skipper.

However, Del Bosque understands relationships and loyalty in a very peculiar way, and he was always going to stick to the core that has found success until the bitter end. Before the tournament, when Victor Valdes -- the only keeper with experience of playing for Spain besides Casillas -- picked up his season-ending injury, the coach should have tried two other goalkeeping options to play safe during the World Cup. But, because Casillas was not getting enough playing time with Real Madrid, he was handed a start in every single friendly, leaving no space to test David de Gea or Pepe Reina (a player who openly admits he never expects to play).

De Gea's recent injury meant that there was no realistic alternative to Casillas. And thus Del Bosque either chose to -- or alternatively had to -- remain loyal to his keeper; a loyalty that has proven costly to the tune of seven goals conceded in two matches and untold scars on Spanish pride.

During half-time, Del Bosque decided to introduce Atletico Madrid's Koke -- another decision that came too late to be beneficial. Koke understands Costa better than any other Spanish player, as became evident in the first 10 minutes of the second half when a move between the pair eventually found Busquets completely unmarked at the far post. The Barcelona midfielder only had to direct his touch towards the goal to score, but missed the easiest chance imaginable. After that, the mentally fragile Spain collapsed.

Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres contributed to Spain's six-year reign.
Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres are symbols of the issue.

There was no resorting to their old nickname of La Furia Roja. With bizarre parsimony, the Spaniards kept trying to walk the ball into the goal, and only the introduction of Santi Cazorla, with two decent efforts, added a minimal bite to the unconvincing Spanish attack.

The fact that Chelsea's Fernando Torres -- a player who has struggled for form all season -- finished the match leading his team's forward line adds another significant point to Del Bosque's misplaced loyalty. His trust in some of the players that took him to consecutive World Cup and European Championship titles went far beyond what could be reasonably expected.

But Torres' case has become an iconic example. In order to give the forward a final run to a World Cup title, Del Bosque took a player well past his prime and left out other younger, sharper strikers that could have added the spice up front this team so sorely lacked. As in many other positions, the options were there.

It's hard to criticise this group and this manager after such a successful, unprecedented run. However, Spanish fans would have preferred the required renovation work to have begun before this World Cup. Del Bosque's odd sense of loyalty now means that it will happen after a terribly disappointing elimination, and in a much more traumatic way.