Spain are out of the World Cup after they were comprehensively beaten by Chile at the Maracana.
Eduardo Vargas’ goal after 20 minutes put the South Americans on-course for a famous victory. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Charles Aragnuiz doubled the Chileans lead after another error by Iker Casillas.
It was a deserved second defeat in two matches for Vicente Del Bosque’s team in Brazil. With one Group B match remaining, they are now eliminated from the tournament along with their final opponents Australia.
Casillas kept his place in the Spain starting XI, but Vicente del Bosque made two changes from the team that lost to Netherlands.
Bayern Munich centre-back Javi Martinez started alongside Sergio Ramos, and Pedro replaced Xavi, with Andres Iniesta moving back into the midfield three.
Jorge Sampaoli meanwhile gave starts to Real Sociedad’s Claudio Bravo, Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez and Valencia loanee Vargas.
Chile showed their mindset for the match in the very first minute. A foray forward by the South Americans almost ended in disaster for La Roja when a last ditch tackle on Vargas almost resulted in an own goal. In truth, however, the forward should have shot first time.
At the other end, Chile almost let the world champions in when they carelessly conceded possession in midfield. Diego Costa seized the loose ball but, at the end of a run forward, could only scuff a shot wide. The ball was then picked up by David Silva and following a goalmouth scramble, goalkeeper Bravo saved smartly from Xabi Alonso.
Sampaoli’s team continued to show the ambition that has become their trademark and they had a shock lead on 20 minutes. Alonso gave the ball away and the Chileans took full advantage to score a sensational team goal.
Following some sublime link-up play, the ball ended at the feet of Vargas. He kept his cool superbly to sidestep Casillas’ despairing dive before poking home.
Spain had a chance to equalise soon afterwards. Silva headed the ball to Costa, but the soon-to-be Chelsea man could only hit the side netting when he ought to have hit the target.
On the stroke of half time, they were made to pay. Sanchez’s free kick really should have been caught by Casillas, but he inexplicably punched the ball to Aranguiz. The Chilean again kept his composure to fire home and send the South Americans into raptures.
Alonso, who had an uncharacteristically poor half, was substituted for Koke in time for the start of the second period as Del Bosque rolled the dice.
Just a few minutes after the restart, Costa again should have done better when he latched onto Andres Iniesta’s through ball, but he took too long and his effort was blocked.
Several minutes later, Sergio Busquets could only side-foot a left-footed finish wide inside the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy. It was a truly wasteful effort.
Costa, another player out of sorts and looking short of fitness, was replaced by Fernando Torres just after the hour mark.
The Spanish onslaught, however, that so many were expecting did not come and it was Chile who were looking the more dangerous to add a third. Another dangerous counter-attack ended with Mauricio Isla stretching to meet Eugenio Mena’s cross, but the Juventus wing-back could only force the ball over the bar.
Substitute Santi Carzorla’s effort was tipped wide by Bravo and Iniesta had a shot from range well saved but La Roja never looked like getting back into it.
After two dispirited and tired looking displays, the inquest will now begin.
Spain 0 – 2 Chile
Vargas 20 (C), Aranguiz 43 (C)
Spain: Casillas; Azpilicueta, Martínez, Ramos, Alba; Alonso (Koke 45), Busquets; Iniesta, Pedro (Cazorla 76), Silva; Costa (Torres 64)
Chile: Bravo; Medel, Silva, Jara; Isla, Aránguiz (Gutierrez 64), Díaz, Mena; Vidal (Carmona 88); Sánchez, Vargas (Valdivia 85).
Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)