2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio Do Maracana Ė Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spain -181, Chile +400, Tie +240
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -150, Under +130)
Coming off of a humiliating opening-match loss, defending champion Spain desperately needs a victory over Chile on Thursday in order to keep its hopes of making it to the knockout rounds alive. Chile, on the other hand, can really improve its chances of advancing by knocking off this next opponent.
The defending champs were considered one of the favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, but they got off to a rather terrible start in Group B play. Spain took on Netherlands in their opening game and the result left a lot of people wondering whether or not Spain has what it takes to win again this year.
Spain had a very rough time establishing their style that won them the World Cup in 2010. The team took a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot from Xabi Alonso 27 minutes into the game, but they did not score again. Despite having possession for 57% of the game, Spain was outshot 11-6 on goal and they would be dominated the rest of the game. Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie scored two goals each as Netherlands crushed Spain 5-1.
Chile is a very powerful offensive team that has trouble defensively, but that was not an issue in its opening match in Group B play. Chile took on Australia and came away with a convincing victory.
It didnít take Chile much time to establish its offensive dominance over Australia. Just 12 minutes into the game, Alexis Sanchez scored off of a headed pass from Eduardo Vargas to take a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, Jorge Valdivia scored off of a pass by Sanchez. Chile wound up winning the game 3-1 after a goal in extra time by Jean Beausejour. They were really never in danger of losing the game, having possession for 62% of the game and leading Australia in shots on goal 9-6. They didn't allow Australia's 18 fouls and three yellow cards deter them, but they will need to shore up their defense if they are going to defeat Spain in their second Group B match.