Spain lose invincible tag after Olympic tournament elimination

 

World and European champions Spain were dumped out of the Olympic tournament by Honduras last night.

A team containing Juan Mata, David de Gea and Jordi Alba was beaten 1-0 which, following on from their equally shock reverse to Japan on Thursday, leaves them with no chance of advancing.

"It is possible that our recent success did impact, but this is a team full of players that play at the highest level," said coach Luis Milla.

"As you can imagine, everyone is sad and everyone is disappointed.

"But if you create chances, you have to score them."

Jerry Bengtson's early goal did the damage, securing one of the finest results in Honduras' entire footballing history.

Yet despite their efforts, Honduras are still not certain of their quarter-final place as Morocco could deprive them if they complete a hat-trick of Spain defeats in their final game.

It seems unlikely though after the Africans were beaten 1-0 by Japan at St James' Park, Kensuke Nagai scoring the goal that took Japan into the last eight.

Brazil are also through, although they needed to come from behind to book their quarter-final berth.

Alexandre Pato levelled Renan Bardini Bressan's surprise opener before star man Neymar and Chelsea bound Oscar wrapped up a win that should ensure an appearance at St James' Park in the knockout stage.

South Korea and Mexico took a grip on Group B by recording victories over Switzerland and Gabon respectively, although both countries need a point from their final match to reach the last eight.

In Great Britain's group, 10-man Senegal threw the entire qualification picture into confusion by beating heavyweights Uruguay thanks to a first-half Moussa Konate double.

Senegal only need a point against United Arab Emirates to eliminate either Uruguay, or hosts Great Britain, who meet at the Millennium Stadium in their final match.

Milla admitted he and his players, including Euro 2012 winners Alba, Javier Martinez and Mata, were desperately disappointed to be heading home without a medal.

He said: "If you create chances, you have to score them. If we had won the game, if we had had better results, and I am certain we would have gone on to pick up a medal in this tournament.

"We didn't talk about medals in the build-up to the tournament because we didn't want to put extra pressure on the players.

"But if we create those chances, we have to score them and I am certain that if we had scored them, we would be winning a medal at the end of the tournament."

Referee Juan Soto issued 13 yellow cards, seven of them to Spain and two during a half-time bust-up as the players left the pitch during an eventful encounter.

Milla said: "All that was lacking today was a goal. Although I don't want to mention it too much, I do feel ultimately we should have had a penalty, but the team played well."

Honduras manager Luis Suarez was thrilled by a victory which gave his side a real chance of making the last eight heading into Wednesday's final group game against the Japanese.

He said: "One thing I can say is that tonight's match was certainly not typical.

"We scored early and then perhaps due to our organisation and tactics, or perhaps due to their bad luck - there is no such thing as bad luck, necessarily, but things went our way tonight because Spain could have come back to draw or win.

"But things went our way, so we are happy, and we may well go on to qualify. But we have got to stay calm going forward into our next game. The next match is certainly going to be very, very hard."

PA

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor