Spain, the world and European champions, after being embarrassed by the Netherlands were surely going to bounce back in their next game, weren't they? After all that's what champions are made of, and there has been no better champion team in international football over the past six years than Spain.
This FIFA World Cup 2014, though, has been a little different, not one to listen to consensus. Spain's title defence started in nightmarish fashion, and that unending scary dream just continued, showing absolutely no signs of abating, with Chile handing the champions a humbling 2-0 defeat at the Maracana, and with it incredibly knocking Spain out of the World Cup.
The moment the first goal went in from the boot of Eduardo Vargas in the 20th minute, Spain looked defeated, that tiki-taka swagger disappearing quicker than cat burglar in the night, with Charles Aranguiz's second goal just before halftime only adding salt into those gaping, painful wounds.
Two losses in two Group B games, unthinkable from this side, even if there were signs of the gold dust losing its sheen just a touch, means Spain have no chance of qualifying for the last 16, with the Netherlands and Chile already on six points, while Australia, unlucky losers to Holland earlier, are also eliminated.
Spain were jittery all along, not looking like a team that had won three of the last three major international tournaments they have taken part in, but rather like a side making their first World Cup appearance, and just feeling themselves on the big stage.
Chile, who should have been the side Spain have been looking like, on the other hand, started the game like a house on fire, nearly scoring twice in the first couple of minutes. Vargas almost found the back of the net in the first minute, after some good work from Alexis Sanchez and Eugenio Mena, before Gonzalo Jara, from the resulting corner, just headed inches wide of the post.
Spain, even if they were nowhere close to their best, did have a couple of decent chances, though, with Xabi Alonso forcing a save from Raul Bravo, before Diego Costa struck the side-netting when he should have at least hit the target.
While Spain, who only made a couple of changes despite Vicente Del Bosque promising a few more, were taking two, three, four, five touches to move forward, Chile were the opposite – a couple of touches and they would reach Spain's penalty box, with the opening goal coming from such an explosive move.
Sanchez with terrific pace burst through the Spain midfield, before playing a through ball to Aranguiz, who intelligently squared the ball to Vargas to apply the finishing touches from close-range.
Del Bosque left out Xavi Hernandez out of the starting lineup, the first time that has happened in a while in a major tournament, with the Barcelona midfielder playing every single minute of Spain's triumphs in Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but Spain just looked like a lost puppy, hunting for its master but finding none.
Chile, roared on by scores of supporters at the Maracana, kept at it, pouring forward at every opportunity, and they were duly rewarded with their second a minute before halftime. Xabi Alonso, having a nightmare first half, fouled Sanchez unnecessarily just outside the box, a minute after receiving a yellow card for a poor tackle, with the Chile forward himself taking the freekick.
The strike was not great and went straight at Iker Casillas, who had a horror game against the Netherlands, with the Spain skipper deciding to punch the ball instead of holding it, despite the shot not having too much venom. The punch fell straight to Aranguiz 12 yards out, and the midfielder made no mistake, calmly placing the ball past the despairing dive of Casillas.
Del Bosque brought on Koke in the second half for the out of sorts Alonso, but it was Koke's Atletico Madrid teammate Costa who nearly made it 2-1, breaking clear, but lingering a little too much before seeing his shot deflected wide.
Signs that it wasn't going to be Spain's day only grew when Sergio Busquets missed an absolute sitter, guiding his shot wide from just three yards out, after a hook back from Javi Martinez off a rebound from a Sergio Ramos freekick.
Spain huffed and puffed in the rest of the second half, but the Chile house never even remotely looked like blowing down, as one of the greatest eras of dominance in world football ended in a rather deflating note, with barely a whimper.