World Cup 2014: Spain's defense implodes in 5-1 loss to Netherl - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

World Cup 2014: Spain's defense implodes in 5-1 loss to Netherlands

Posted: Updated:
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas crawled and scrambled in vain, Gerard Pique was beaten for pace and Sergio Ramos made a series of blunders. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas crawled and scrambled in vain, Gerard Pique was beaten for pace and Sergio Ramos made a series of blunders. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — 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 defense?

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 on Friday, as the defending champions tumbled to their heaviest competitive defeat since 1950.

SLIDESHOW: Photos from World Cup 2014

A howler by Casillas gifted Robin van Persie his second goal and the Real Madrid keeper was later on all fours as he tried to catch up with Arjen Robben as the Dutch winger waltzed through the Spain area before scoring his second of the night.

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.

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

Spain's players left the Arena Fonte Nova pitch in disbelief, while coach Vicente del Bosque tried to maintain morale by encouraging his players at the final whistle.

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.

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>