International

Defending Champ Spain Knocked Out Of World Cup

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. i i

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. Manu Fernandez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Manu Fernandez/AP
Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, fails to save an attempt by Chile's Charles Aranguiz at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Manu Fernandez/AP

Chile beat Spain, 2-0, in group play Wednesday, knocking the defending champs out of soccer's World Cup.

Both goals came in the first half: Eduardo Vargas scored in the 20th minute and Charles Aranguiz in the 44th.

Spain suffered a huge loss in its first game, falling 1-5 to the Netherlands on Friday. It was the worst defeat of a defending champion in World Cup history, according to CNN. Spain still faces Australia in group play Monday, but it is nearly impossible for the team to advance to the next round because of its two losses.

Netherlands secured a spot in the next round by defeating Australia, 3-2, earlier Wednesday. The team faces Chile on Monday, finishing out play in Group B.

Spain beat the Netherlands, 1-0, in the World Cup final four years and were one of the favorites to win again this year.

Update at 7:04 p.m. ET: Spain's Loss Is 'Huge'

On All Things Considered, NPR's Tom Goldman called Spain's loss a "stunning upset":

"This one is huge. There have been other defending champions who have lost in the group stage in the next World Cup, three as a matter of fact. But yeah, this is huge. Spain have been the No. 1 ranked team in the world since 2008. ... They won the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup, the 2012 European Championship. But perhaps a sign that the Spanish were weakening: They lost in the final of the Confederations Cup, another big tournament. They lost that last year to Brazil. So [this] may be a sign of things to come."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.