The rain, in Spain....

... goes mainly in the goal, it seems.

Yesterday's game between Spain and Chile was potentially determinative for both teams.  That is, Chile winning would mean them advancing, and Spain being eliminated.

One thing that surprised me, even before the game started, was that Casillas was in goal again.

When the game started, the Spanish were definitely dominating possession, but the Chileans managed several chances (and blew their best one by missing the open net on the shot).

But both teams kept trying, and Chile got on the board first goal in 20th, moved the ball down right side, through the defenders, and got Vidal alone in front.  He deked Casillas and kicked it in just before the lone defender back could interfere.

Desperation did not help the Spaniards; they still played well, but not as cohesively.  Things didn't completely fall apart, but they definitely were not playing as well.  Perhaps each player was trying to do too much (not egregiously so, but it might still have been the case).

In any event, their chances were few and far between.  The next score came just before halftime.  The South Americans got a free kick twenty-five or thirty yards, they took a direct shot, curled over the wall, hard, on goal.  Casillas punched it out, to the center of the field, and right to the feet of Aranguiz.  Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he kicked it home to set off some raucus celebrations in Santiago, I'm sure.

From there, the Chileans put together some serious defense, with every man committed to getting to every ball around.  And the Spanish looked very flustered, showing some individual flair (especially Iniesta), but nothing as a team.

There were a few scoring chances in the second half (probably more from the Chileans, even though they were focusing on defence), but not very many.

So the Spaniards went down in flames matching their jerseys, and the Chileans, with their first-ever defeat of Spain (were 0-8-2, previously) will be moving on to the knock-out stage.

The only questions left to be answered in this group are whether Spain can manage to finish in last place (unlikely, especially with Cahill out for the game), and whether Chile can beat the Dutch to win the group (also unlikely, but not unimaginable).

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