World Cup Roundup (June 18): Chile ousts reigning champion Spain

Associated Press Published:

Group B

Chile 2, Spain 0

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Defending champion Spain, the dominant global football power for the past six years, was eliminated from World Cup contention Wednesday with a 2-0 loss to Chile.

Spain's famed passing game failed against a high-tempo, tenacious Chile team, its era ending in the storied Maracana Stadium filled mostly with Chilean supporters.

Eduardo Vargas tricked goalkeeper Iker Casillas into diving the wrong way, then shot into an unguarded goal in the 20th minute. Charles Aranguiz scored in the 43rd when the ball landed at his feet after Casillas punched out a free kick.

Spain's second loss, after a 5-1 rout by the Netherlands, ended any hope of advancing. Chile and the Netherlands will both advance, regardless of who wins the game between them.

Spain won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, in addition to the 2010 World Cup.

Spain came to Brazil with a very similar -- but older -- team than the one that won those titles. They added Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa, but he failed to score a goal.

Their "tiki-taka" style of play -- keeping the ball for long stretches with short passes, and only shooting when you had a clear opening -- had not been working as well in recent years. Brazil defeated Spain 3-0 in last summer's Confederations Cup, a warm-up for the World Cup.

Group B

Netherlands 3, Australia 2

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- A second-half by strike by substitute Memphis Depay gave Netherlands a 3-2 comeback victory over Australia in an absorbing World Cup Group B match on Wednesday.

The result puts Netherlands into a strong position to advance to the last 16 with two wins, including the opening 5-1 rout of defending champion Spain. It almost surely puts Australia out of contention with two defeats.

The Dutch opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a Arjen Robben solo effort but Australia responded seconds later, with Tim Cahill's stunning volley making it 1-1 before the halftime break.

Australia took a surprise lead with a penalty after Daryl Janmaat handled the ball but Robin Van Persie made it 2-2 after collecting the ball in space on the edge of the penalty area and shooting low.

Group A

Croatia 4, Cameroon 0

MANAUS, Brazil -- Mario Mandzukic scored two goals Wednesday to keep Croatia in the mix at the World Cup with a 4-0 win over 10-man Cameroon, which cannot now advance from the group stage.

Mandzukic, who returned to the team at the Arena da Amazonia after sitting out the opening loss to Brazil through suspension, headed in a corner from Danijel Pranjic in the 61st minute and then knocked in a rebound in the 73rd of the Group A game.

Ivan Perisic also scored one goal and made another for Ivica Olic.

Cameroon was reduced to 10 men after midfielder Alex Song was given a red card for elbowing Mandzukic in the back in an off-the-ball incident in the 40th minute.

The team started without the injured Samuel Eto'o, the team's best player.

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