Spain's defensive disaster against Dutch

PAUL LOGOTHETIS
Last updated 11:51 14/06/2014
Gerard Pique
Reuters

DEFEATED: Spanish goalie Iker Casillas didn't perform.

David Villa
Reuters Zoom
David Villa puts Spain 1-0 up against Australia with a neat back heel past Australia's Mathew Ryan.
Gerard Pique
Getty Images
DEFEATED: Spain's Gerard Pique was beaten for pace.
Gerard Pique
Reuters
DEFEATED: "I can't find the words," Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque says.

Relevant offers

Football

West Ham stun EPL giants Manchester City Phoenix coach Merrick focused on tangibles No joy for Suarez, Real Madrid claim 'Clasico' Hay: Phoenix's future is in the hands of fans Leeds manager Milanic sacked after 32 days Wanderers riding luck to take ACL final lead Berisha earns Victory 5-2 Melbourne derby win Tom Doyle tastes highs and lows with Phoenix Football Ferns captain earns her 100th cap Auckland City make winning start to season

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas crawled and scrambled in vain, Gerard Pique was beaten for pace and Sergio Ramos made a series of blunders.

Whatever happened to Spain's usually rock-solid defence?

A backline that helped Spain win its last three major tournaments was totally ripped to shreds in a 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands at the World Cup this morning, as the defending champions tumbled to their heaviest competitive defeat since 1950.

"I can't find the words" to explain it, coach Vicente del Bosque said. "I don't want to point fingers at anybody. A team's defeat doesn't come down to just one player. I don't want to point fingers at (Casillas) or anyone."

Casillas gifted Robin van Persie his second goal and the Real Madrid keeper was down and beaten as Arjen Robben waltzed through the area to score his second of the night.

"I didn't do things like I should have, especially to start a World Cup," Casillas said. "It wasn't one of my best games, I wasn't at the level I needed to be. I have to accept all criticism."

Pique was easily rounded by Robben for his first goal and then outsprinted by the Dutchman for his second, despite having a clear head start on the 30-year-old midfielder.

"The second half was terrible," Pique said, "we were just awful."

Ramos, normally the beating heart of Spain's backline, could do nothing as his defence collapsed around him.

Spain's players left the Arena Fonte Nova pitch in disbelief, with Del Bosque trying to maintain morale by encouraging his players at the final whistle.

"We found space in the first half, but everything started crumbling in the second," Del Bosque said. "We're a team of professionals and we have to understand that while this defeat hurts, no one should be reproached."

In one game, Spain conceded more goals than it did in its last two major tournaments combined.

Spain only conceded one goal as it retained its European championship title in 2012 and just two as it lifted the World Cup for the first time in 2010.

The European champion, which hadn't been beaten so humiliatingly since losing 6-1 to Brazil the last time the World Cup was played in this South American country, has little time to regroup in a tough Group B.

With Chile next on Wednesday, Del Bosque needs his team to rediscover its former defensive strengths.

"We have to move forward, keep quiet, work hard and look at the next match as the most important final of the tournament," said Casillas after earning his 155th - and most humbling - cap.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

How well will the Phoenix do in this year's A-League?

Winner. They'll go all the way

They'll make the final

They'll make the playoffs

They'll just miss the playoffs

They'll take the wooden spoon

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content