Holders Spain have been knocked out of the World Cup at the group stage following their second Group B defeat against Chile.
Just like France in 2002 and Italy in 2010 the reigning champions have fallen way short bringing an end to six years of international domination.
End of an era
Spain lost their first match against Netherlands and on Wednesday the Roja were beaten by Chili in Rio and are now mathematically eliminated.
It marks the end of a glittering era for Spain who had won the last three major tournaments – two European crowns and the 2010 World Cup title.
Having lost their opener 5-1 against the Dutch only a win would do for Vicente Del Bosque’s men.
However, despite their star-studded cast, Spain were second best throughout their tie with Chile at the Iconic Maracana Stadium.
On the day when Spain’s King Carlos signed his abdication papers, Spain’s footballers left their throne and became the fifth world champions to be eliminated from the group stage of the following edition.
Eduardo Vargas hit the back of the net on 20 minutes capping off a delightful build-up by his teammates while Charles Aranguiz struck the second two minutes before half-time to help send Spain to the surprise early exit door and Chile into the last 16.
Oranje fight back for Aussie win
Earlier in the day Memphis Depay struck from long range to help the Netherlands to a 3-2 win over Australia in a thrilling Group B game in Porto Alegre.
Tim Cahill cancelled out a Arjen Robben’s opener on 21 minutes before captain Mile Jedinak put the Socceroos ahead from the spot.
Robin Van Persie leveled matters on 58 minutes and then shortly afterwards Depay hit the winner.
The Netherlands and Chile become the first teams to progress to the last 16 – Australia and Spain can now start packing their bags for the trip home.
Croatia still in the hunt
Croatia kept alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup last 16 phase after beating Cameroon in their second Group A match in Manaus.
Mario Mandzukic scored twice and Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic once for a four nil victory which eliminated Cameroon.
Croatia are one point adrift of Brazil and Mexico, who they play on Monday.
Ready for battle
Colombia and the Cote D’Ivoire will battle it out in Brasilia with top spot in Group C in their sights. While after losing to Italy in their opener England can not afford to lose against Uruguay.
It will be the very first time Columbia and Cote D’Ivoire meet on the international stage.
Jose Pekerman’s Columbia will be boosted by their 3-0 demolition of Greece in their opening game and know another victory will almost certainly guarantee them a place in the last 16.
Columbia will be without striker Carlos Bacca, who has sustained a leg injury and will miss the rest of the group stage.
Even without Bacca, Columbia posses plenty of attacking threat to worry the Africans, who look set to start Didier Drogba once again on the bench.
Although Drogba’s introduction on the hour mark against Japan sparked his side into life and eventually to victory coach Sabri Lamouchi is likely to keep faith in his attacking trio Salomon Kalou, Gervinho and Wilfried Bony.
Like Columbia a win would see the Cote D’Ivoire jump to the summit of Group C and probably into the last 16. Elsewhere Japan and Greece square off in Natal.
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano has been ruled out of Thursday’s Group D clash with England with a knee injury as both sides look for their first points of this edition.
Without prolific goal scorer Luis Suarez, Uruguay suffered a shock first round defeat by Costa Rica and although 33-year-old Lugano will be sorely missed Suarez will be available, although unlikely at full fitness.
The game in Sao Paulo is a must win for both sides.
England coach Roy Hodgson must decide on Wayne Rooney’s fate for the game after another largely unconvincing display last time out from the under-pressure Manchester United frontman.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has returned to training following a knee ligament injury, but the 20-year-old Gunner remains a doubt to feature.
Before the second round matches Costa Rica lead the show in Group D ahead of Italy, who they play in Recife on Friday. England and Uruguay bring up the rear.
We might be wrong
Here’s another eagerly-awaited moment of the World Cup – the Euronews sports team’s predictions.
It’s always difficult for everyone to agree, but we do come to a decision in the end and here there are.
We feel Columbia will win the very first contest between them and the Cote D’Ivoire and will enjoy a 2-0 victory.
It took us a while on this one – a lot of humming and harring – but in the end we came to the conclusion that England will prevail against Urugauy 2-1.
Both Japan and Greece are hunting their first points and we predict at the end of this game Greece will remain pointless with Japan winning through 2-1.
Nabbed at the airport
Police in Brazil have revealed they have arrested a suspected Mexican drug trafficker as he made his way to his nation’s match against the hosts in Fortaleza.
According to reports Jose Diaz Barajas is wanted on suspicion of trafficking methamphetamine to the United States.
He was arrested at the airport by Brazilian police on a warrant from Interpol.
The Mexico national team’s day went better as they held Brazil to a goalless stalemate boosting their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 phase.
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