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Champion Spain knocked out of World Cup

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Update: 9:15AM World champions Spain were eliminated from the World Cup this morning when their 2-0 Group B defeat by Chile brought an end to one of the greatest dynasties of the modern game.

On the day when Spain's King Carlos also signed his abdication papers, Spain's footballers left their throne as goals from Eduardo Vargas after 20 minutes and Charles Aranguiz two minutes before halftime earned Chile a stunning victory.

They advanced to the last 16 along with the Netherlands and Australia go out with Spain.

The Dutch, who beat Spain 5-1, and Chile each have six points and they play each other in Sao Paulo next Tuesday.

Spain face Australia in Curitiba bidding to avoid finishing bottom.

Spain became the third champions in the last four World Cups to be eliminated at the first hurdle and their departure will almost certainly end the long international careers of the ageing greats who won the 2008 European Championship and their first World Cup in South Africa four years ago.

Coach Vicente del Bosque is also unlikely to keep his job.

Chile, who had never beaten Spain in 10 previous meetings, looked sharp, composed and confident from the start and even faster and more fluid in the second half.

Although Spain's Xabi Alonso had a shot saved in the 15th minute, Chile took the lead five minutes later.

A counter-attack on the right set up Aranguiz to provide the cross for Vargas who danced around goalkeeper Iker Casillas before firing home with defender Sergio Ramos arriving too late to stop him.

Casillas, who had a poor game in Spain's mauling by the Dutch, was at fault for the second goal, punching an Alexis Sanchez free kick straight back to Aranguiz who swept the ball past Casillas with a spinning shot with the outside of his right foot.

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