In what was a major upset to the defending champions and an even bigger shock to the world, Chile defeated Spain 2-0 and eliminated them from the tournament. Netherlands and Australia saw a five-goal thriller and eventually the Oranje got through. Four goals from Croatia saw them send Cameroon packing.
Australia made life tough for the Oranje as Netherlands managed to come back from a 2-1 deficit to charge their way into the Round of 16. Arjen Robben’s spectacular run through the middle and his cool finish to give the Oranje the lead in the 20th minute was cancelled out almost immediately by Australian forward Tim Cahill with a sublime finish into the top corner of the net.
Netherlands escaped wave after wave of the Australian attacks as Mark Bresciano and Matthew Špiranović both missed changes inside the box. By halftime, Netherlands were lucky to be on level terms.Their luck did run out though, as ten minutes into the second half the referee pointed to the spot after Daryl Janmaat blocked Oliver Bozanic’s cross with his arm. Mile Jedanik coolly fired the ball into the back of the net as Netherland goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen guessed wrong.
But the Netherland’s reply was faster than expected, as poor defensive play from left-back Jason Davidson allowed Memphis Depay to pick out Robin Van Persie in space in the box, who avoided the offside trap and blasted the ball past Ryan McGowan into the roof of the net. Just ten minutes hence, after Tommy Oar missed a great chance to score with an over hit cross along the face of goal, Memphis Depay found himself in space on the counter-attack and blasted a swerving shot away from Ryan into the net to give the Oranje the lead. Nigel de Jong had a chance to kill the game off a few moments later, but Ryan denied the midfielder from close range.
Netherland’s march their way into the Round of 16, but will notice the absence of some players in their next match against Chile. Robin Van Persie, after being booked consecutively in two matches, will now mix the next match. Bruno Martinis Indi picked up an injury in the 4th minute of the game and hence may not be seen as well. Meanwhile, Tim Cahill will also be missing his side’s next match against Spain due to being booked against Netherlands and Chile.
The current champions have gone crashing out of the World Cup as Chile earn a well deserved 2 to nil victory over La Roja. Eduardo Vargas opened the scoring for this encounter in the 20th minute, after some magic from Alexis Sanchez helped set up the goal. The kill was applied just before half-time when poor goalkeeping from Iker Casillas allowed Charles Aranguiz to drill in Chile’s second goal.
Chile came firing from the start of the game and almost scored twice in the first minute, as Arturo Vidal almost rolled the ball into the Spain net, while Gonzalo Jara headed wide from the resultant corner. Spain might have almost taken the lead if not for Diego Costa’s hesitation in front of goal, as his shot was stopped and the rebound was fired wide by Xabi Alonso. Chile were playing a good counter-attacking game and got their reward when Alexis Sanchez burst through the middle and played a short deceptive pass towards Eduardo Vargas, while the Spain defenders were chasing after Aranguiz, and Vargas prodded the ball into the net.
Pressure crept into the Champion’s game as they began to lose balls and miss easy chances. They conceded a free-kick in the 43rd minute, that was saved by Iker Casillas but right into the path of waiting Charles Aranguiz who was given time and space to easily apply the killer finish and leave Spain’s hopes hanging by a thread. Spain re-grouped and came out looking better in the second half, but could never really take control of the situation. Sergio Busquets missed an easy finish at the back post that was easily kept out by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and Diego Costa missed another chance as Spain looked to get back.
As time wore on, Spain ran out of ideas and the match became extremely comfortable for Chile, as chances for Spain began to wither away and Sergio Ramos sent an overhead kick almost out of the stadium in frustration. Spain showed lack of confidence, zeal, organization and ideas. Chile played an excellent game while Spain’s era came to a miserably poor ending.
Croatia kept their hopes of advancing alive after hammering a ten-man Cameroon 4-0. Ivica Olic scored early in the first half, while Alex Song was sent off late in the same half, after which Croatia eliminated Cameroon. Cameroon came out strong, but it was the Vatreni who opened the scoring in the 11th minute, as Aurélien Chedjou tried to clear Dariko Srna’s cross, but thanks to Mario Mandžukić, his attempt deflected right to Ivan Perišić. The Wolfsburg midfielder immediately crossed the ball to Ivica Olic who tapped in the ball with ease.
For no reason, Alex Song decided to give a blow with his elbow to Mario Mandžukić in the back, right in front of the referee’s eyes. The referee showed no hesitation in pulling out the red card, and Cameroon were left to play the rest of the game with ten men. Croatia required just 3 minutes of the second half to double their lead, as Ivan Perišić cut off a long clearance by Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje, and ran down the left wing before hitting his shot to the left while Itandje leaned away from goal. 2-0 Croatia.
Mario Mandžukić snubbed out any chance of a Cameroon comeback, by heading in a corner taken by Danijel Pranjic. No one marked the Bayern Munich forward as he easily rose above the defense and headed the ball into the back of the net past goalkeeper Itanjde. Because one is never enough, Mandžukić scored a second goal in the 73rd minute after Itandje left a massive rebound in front of the net. The Cameroon keeper was able to stop Eduardo’s initial effort, but the parried save went right to Mandžukić for a simple finish into the empty net.
Cameroon go crashing out, while Croatia keep their hopes alive to make it into the Round of 16. Spain’s era ends with a walloping by Chile and Netherlands, while Australia bow out of the competition with honor.