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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020


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WE’VE REACHED THE final round of group games. 

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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We’re already at the halfway point of this year’s World Cup but no one can deny that the vast majority of the first 32 matches have been hugely entertaining.

It’s down to the business end of the group stages and first up is Group B, where the Netherlands and Chile go head-to-head in a bit to earn top spot having already booked their places in the last 16 with two wins each.

The Dutch have better goal difference so will finish first with a draw. That would see them meet the runners-up in Group A.

In the other game, defending champions Spain and Australia, both eliminated, face off in Curitiba.

Group B table 1 Source:

Team news:

Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar. De Vrij, Blind, De Jong, Janmaat, Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt, Lens, Wijnaldum.
Chile: Bravo, Mena, Isla, Silva, Sanchez, Vargas, Gutierrez, Medel, Jara, Aranguiz, Diaz.
Louis van Gaal has made a number of changes with Robin van Persie suspended and Bruno Martins Indi out injured. Jeremain Lens, Georginio Wijnaldum and Dirk Kuyt, who looks to be playing left wing-back, are all in. 
Chile’s midfield general Arturo Vidal is missing with Felipe Gutierrez replacing the Juventus man.

We’ve got line-ups for Spain v Australia too and there’s a rare start for Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina:

Spain: Reina, Albiol, Juanfran, Iniesta, Villa, Torres, Alonso, Ramos, Koke, Alba, Cazorla.
Australia: Ryan, Davidson, Spiranovic, Leckie, Taggart, Oar, Bozanic, Jedinak, McKay, McGowan, Wilkinson.

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group B - Australia v Spain - Arena da Baixada Spain's Pepe Reina and Iker Casillas. Source: EMPICS Sport

The players coming out in Curitiba with Sergio Ramos captaining Spain. That one is being streamed on

Spain Aus Source: RTE Player

And we’ve kicked off. I’ll be focusing on the meeting of Holland and Chile but will bring you all the incidents from the other match.

Dirk Kuyt stands on the leg of Gary Medel, which upsets the Cardiff City player. I’m not sure it’s wise to get on the wrong side of a man nicknamed “The Pitbull”.

Jim Beglin on Spain wearing their black kit: “I think it’s suitable because they’re in mourning.”

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group B - Australia v Spain - Arena da Baixada Source: EMPICS Sport

Chile have enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening minutes and are content to spray the passes around the backline. The couple of balls they’ve tried to get their attackers in haven’t worked out.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, are yet to get going and have been restricted to two free-kicks launched into the box, which were easily dealt with.

Mena sends his cross into the front post where Vargas arrives first to but heads off-target.

Mena gets joy on the left flank again and squares to Aranguiz. The Internacional midfielder looks to flick the ball on but can’t find a team-mate.

Not much to report from Curitiba but David Villa has just snatched at a volley on his left foot after being picked out at the back post. Moments later, Matt Ryan saves from Jordi Alba.

Sneijder has a pop from 25-yard free-kick but Bravo has it well-covered.

Blind makes a challenge in the box but gets it right and pokes the ball away from Aranguiz. Chile make claims that it should be a penalty but it’s a good decision from the referee.

Jara fouls Robben and the Dutch have a set-piece on the edge of the box. The Bayern Munich man curls the ball brilliantly to the back post and De Vrij makes contact but heads wide. Their best chance so far.

GOAL! Australia 0-1 Spain (David Villa 36′) 

Juanfran gets to the endline and crosses to Villa, who makes no mistake in backheeling past Ryan and the Spaniards are ahead.

Great finish!

Robben storms past a number of challenges and drags his shot the wrong side of the post.

Half-time: Netherlands 0-0 Chile 

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group B - Netherlands v Chile - Arena Corinthians Eduardo Vargas of Chile and Netherlands' Daryl Janmaat. Source: Adam Davy

Half-time: Australia 0-1 Spain 

Jean Beausejour of Wigan Athletic is coming on for Gutierrez. The second half has just started.

It looks like the end of David Villa’s international career. He is heading off to be replaced by Juan Mata. 59 goals in 97 games, one European championship and a World Cup… Not bad, eh?

David Villa goodbye

Sanchez beats Blind in a race to a ball over the top. Cillessen comes storming out of his goal and makes contact with the Barcelona man. Penalty not given.

Robben sets off on another run and blasts a shot at goal but it’s straight at Bravo.

Memphis Depay is on for Jermain Lens.

GOAL! Australia 0-2 Spain (Fernando Torres 60′)

Iniesta plays in Torres and the Chelsea striker slides the ball past Ryan to double Spain’s advantage.

Goal number two:

15 minutes to play in Sao Paulo and it seems as if both sides would be content with a 0-0 draw. I hope I’m proven wrong.

New man Depay cuts inside off the wing and shoots at Bravo, who tips over.

GOAL! Netherlands 1-0 Chile (Leroy Fer 77′)

I spoke too soon. Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer, only on for Wesley Sneijder, powers home a header for his first senior international goal.

GOAL! Australia 0-3 Spain (Juan Mata) 

Substitute Juan Mata makes sure that Spain are going home with a win under their belts. The Manchester United schemer is in acres of space when a cross finds him and cheekily slips it through the legs of Ryan.

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group B - Australia v Spain - Arena da Baixada Source: EMPICS Sport

Feyenoord’s Terence Kongolo replaces Dirk Kuyt, who was down suffering from cramp a few minutes ago.

GOAL! Netherlands 2-0 Chile (Memphis Depay 90′) 

Robben races past his marker on the left flank and cuts back for Depay to bundle over the line.

Full-time: Netherlands 2-0 Chile 

Full-time: Australia 0-3 Spain 

So here’s how the final Group B table looks. The Netherlands through as winners with Chile runners-up while Spain and Australia are heading home.

Group B table final Source:

About the author:

Ben Blake