Football 4 years ago

#DavidVillaWatch: Umm...

  • #DavidVillaWatch: Umm...

Well, that was unexpected.

Spain opened its World Cup with a humiliating 5-1 loss against the Netherlands, the team it defeated in the final four years ago in South Africa.

Fellow FansUnite editor Jordan Kounelis has documented the game here, but what about #DavidVillaWatch?

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Well, it’s fair to say that campaign kicked off with a whimper, as Villa spectated the smashing in Salvador from the substitute’s bench.

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque opted to deploy the underdone Diego Costa as a lone striker. He was replaced shortly after the hour by Fernando Torres, who did this.

The Spanish boss also brought on Barcelona frontman Pedro and soon-to-be Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, leaving the Melbourne City marksman to cool his heels as his much fancied side was humbled on the pitch.

The underdog Netherlands was full value for its win, despite putting out a side featuring a number of players inexperienced at international level. Veterans Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie were in sublime form, netting four of the team’s five goals between them.

Spain will almost certainly make a number of changes for its critical second match against Chile, so here’s hoping Villa’s number is called when the sides do battle at the famous Estádio Maracanã in Rio on Thursday morning.

A word on the Socceroos

The Socceroos were extremely gallant in their 3-1 loss against Chile in Cuiabá.

The highly fancied Chileans lived on their nerves for much of the second half, as the irrepressible Tim Cahill had a goal rightly ruled out for offside and Mark Bresciano had an effort well saved by opposing goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

That Cahill and Bresciano had the team’s best chances was not surprising in the least, as nobody else posed a serious goal scoring threat. Young winger Matthew Leckie will get much of the attention for his breakout performance on the right, while Tommy Oar seemed, well, overawed on the opposite flank.

The Socceroos also defended well after their horrific opening quarter hour, but unfortunately the team was punished for its nervy start.

There is no doubt that virtually all Socceroos fans will be feeling more optimistic about the team’s future after today’s performance, but don’t be fooled – this is still a really inexperienced side beyond Cahill and Bresciano, and there will be some significant bumps in the road as Ange continues to impart his blueprint for the future.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What have been your thoughts about the first few days of the World Cup?

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