Spain demolish Costa Rica in World Cup opener to take group lead

Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

If Luis Enrique and his technical staff planned out Spain’s match against Costa Rica, then they did not see it going quite this well.

La Roja were a constant drumbeat of movement, rhythm and passes against Los Ticos, cutting them open time and again. Completing the most passes in a first half in World Cup history, Costa Rica did not heed the early warning from Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio in the first ten minutes. Both would then score in the space of ten minutes, both showcasing the movement and ball control that made Spain so effective. Ferran Torres did not pardon a penalty after half an hour.

It looked as if Spain had eased up somewhat after Torres converted a second, outfighting the Costa Rica defence for a loose ball. Yet Spain continued to score almost at will. Their fifth in particular was an outstanding goal, finishing in a volley from Gavi.

In the closing stages, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata added a sixth and a seventh. Alejandro Balde made his debut and Nico Williams his first World Cup appearance, both looking at home on under the bright lights. The truth is, as good as Spain were, the defining word for their performance was comfortable.

Costa Rica did not trouble Spain with a single shot in their biggest ever World Cup win. They barely made Spain work for their victory and while it was all positive for La Roja on the night, Luis Enrique might wonder if his side had it too easy when they prepare for Germany on Sunday night.

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