Spain’s 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica gave them their largest World Cup victory since 2006 and gave coach Luis Enrique the ideal start in what appeared to be a difficult Group E.
With loud crowd support and knowledge that Germany’s previous loss to Japan had completely opened up the group, Spain got off to the best start. Sergio Busquets, the lone survivor of La Roja’s 2010 victory, and Rodri, a player for Manchester City, ensured that Spain controlled the ball early on. However, Dani Olmo missed an early opportunity after being expertly picked out by teen prodigy Pedri.
Before Costa Rica could catch its breath, the teenager was again at it, gliding past defenders and slipping in Marco Asensio, who missed the target. With only 11 minutes remaining, Olmo made up for his previous error by completing yet another Pedri-initiated play and scoring Spain’s 100th World Cup goal. Asensio, Spain’s ‘Cesc Fàbregas-esque’ false-nine on the day, sunk a shot past a dazed Keylor Navas before Ferran Torres buried his penalty to cap an incredibly dominant first half for Enrique’s team.
The lowest possibility of any team, and partially because of how difficult their group was, Opta gave Luis Fernando Suárez’s Costa Rica team only a 9.8% chance to advance to the knockout rounds. As Spain proceeded to make the ball vanish from their clutches at will, Costa Rica undoubtedly didn’t feel any better about their own prospects. Continuous pressure in the second half paid off once more as Torres added to the anguish of the Central Americans by collecting his brace from six yards out following confusion in the box.
With 20 of his 26-man team making their first World Cup appearances, Enrique may have considered this tournament as an opportunity to usher in a new age of Spanish football. As Gavi made it five with a magnificent volley, you could feel Spanish confidence vibrating around the stadium. The Barcelona player’s accomplishment of being the youngest goal scorer in this tournament since Pele in 1958 didn’t get overshadowed by his midfield colleague Pedri’s great performance.
Substitutes In a tortuous eight minutes of additional time, Carlos Soler and lvaro Morata poured the icing on top of a fine effort for the helpless Los Ticos, extending their winless World Cup run to seven.