Spain enjoyed the perfect start to their
2022 FIFA World Cup campaign as Luis Enrique’s side put Costa Rica to the sword
with an astonishing 7-0 victory at the Al Thumama stadium on Wednesday. Goals
from Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi, Ferran Torres, Carlos Soler, and Alvaro
Morata helped La Roja kick off their journey in style and register their
nation’s biggest ever victory at a FIFA World Cup.
It was a completely dominant performance
from the 2010 winners in Qatar as Costa Rica struggled to land a single punch
across the 90 minutes, managing just 18% possession and failing to register any
shots on target in the encounter. Six different Spanish players found the back
of the net for Luis Enrique’s side, and Dani Olmo started the scoring spree in
the tenth minute with an excellent piece of control and a chipped finish over
goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Ten minutes later, Marco Asensio doubled
the tally for La Roja, expertly redirecting Jordi Alba’s cross into the far
post. Costa Rica failed to string together any passes to hurt the Spanish
defence, and their troubles were exacerbated at the half-hour mark when Jordi
Alba was bundled down in the area to give Spain a penalty.
Ferran Torres stepped up and converted the
spot kick by sending Navas the wrong way, and the Barcelona forward added a
second nine minutes after half-time. The 22-year-old capitalised on some
miscommunication between the goalkeeper and Bryan Oviedo to give the European
giants a 4-0 advantage.
Luis Enrique brought on Alvaro Morata and
Carlos Soler following the fourth goal with the game already put to bed, and
the two substitutes were influential in maintaining Spain’s attacking threat in
the final half hour. Morata set up the fifth goal with a cross to the edge of
the area for Gavi, who struck a sweetly timed volley with the outside of his boot
to become the third-youngest scorer in World Cup history.
Carlos Soler added a sixth after Keylor
Navas spilt a Nico Williams cross into the area. Morata made it seven just a
few moments later, exchanging a one-two with Dani Olmo before rifling the ball
into the bottom corner to rub salt into Costa Rican wounds.
Spain’s performance was a big warning sign
to the rest of the contenders of their quality at this World Cup, and Luis
Enrique’s side will have a chance to make another statement on Sunday when they
face Germany at the Al Bayt stadium in Doha.