I could have taken the easy (sensible) option and just gone straight to bed after the Australia game. I did have good intentions and went back to the hotel but I made the mistake of turning the TV on and there on Channel 1 was the lovely Lucy Zelic, seducing me to stay with her for this “enthralling match”. “If Chile win, then Spain can pack their bags and fly home tomorrow” she told me. As if! They didn’t become World Champions and the most dominant force in global football by bottling it under pressure. I mean, they weren’t the new France were they?
1. Spain are the new France – OK we were all wrong. Hands up who genuinely thought Spain would be the first team eliminated from the World Cup (well, technically joint first as this result also sent Australia home)? Their patient, passing game simply didn’t faze the Chileans who played around their holding midfielders and got the ball into the danger areas, putting the shaky Casillas under pressure time and time again, leading to one of the two goals.
2. Brazil are the big winners, probably – Defeat for Spain means that the Netherlands only need a point from their last game against Chile to capture top spot and line up a second round tie with either Mexico or Croatia. They will be happy with that, as probably Spain were prior to the tournament when they mapped out their route to Rio. The second place team, most predicted as Netherlands, would face Brazil. However, the group has now been thrown up in the air and it is probably Chile who will now face Brazil – a game that they will fancy more than having to play either of the Europeans.
3. “Too hot to handle” gags – The result was a headline writers dream, with a number of news agencies immediately posting headlines in relation to Chile’s win. I’d personally gone with “Abdication”….I’ll get my coat.
4. Brand names galore – Spain had Alba (cheap stereos), Costa and Koke…Chile had Bravo, Vidal and Medel – massive opportunity missed there for sponsors…unless of course they had got in on the act years ago and the players had changed their names already.
5. Chilean fans – Once again they surpassed themselves, taking almost every seat in the stadium, with colorful dress. Some even themed their outfits for the game, whilst others tried any possible means to get into the game including breaking into the stadium’s press box and trying to hide there.
Due to the hour of the day, there was no Beer World Cup