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Spain begin their 2022 World Cup campaign with a flurry of goals against Costa Rica

It was a complete mismatch on the pitch as Spain took to the field against Group E opponents Costa Rica at the Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday night. Putting seven goals past their Central American opponents, Spain secured their biggest-ever World Cup victory of 7-0 to issue a statement to the rest of the teams and take pole position in their group.

There were a couple of surprises when manager Luis Enrique named his starting XI as he opted to play defensive midfielder Rodri as a center-back and Marco Asensio, who usually plays on the wing, as a false 9.

However, all those concerns were put to rest very early on as Spain looked dazzling in possession from the word go and dizzied Costa Rican players who struggled to keep up with the intensity, tenacity, and fluidity of their movements and passes.

Spain almost went ahead after just five minutes on the clock after Pedri’s deft cross from the deep found Dani Olmo in plenty of space on the flank, but his shot went wide of the post. Asensio was then guilty of squandering an opportunity after failing to make a proper connection with the ball despite getting picked by Pedri with an intelligent pass once again.

However, Spain was repeatedly knocking on the door and they secured the lead after 11 minutes when Gavi, who became Spain’s youngest-ever World Cup player at the age of 18, directed the ball to the path of Olmo. He chipped the opposition goalkeeper Keylor Navas to put the ball into the back of the net.

Spain’s second goal arrived 10 minutes later when Pedri switched the ball astutely and found Jordi Alba making an overlapping cross on the left. The Barcelona full-back’s neat cross back into the box was met by Asensio who fired a low shot past Navas.

Things went from bad to worse for Costa Rica when they conceded a penalty at the stroke of the half-hour mark. Oscar Duarte was guilty of bringing Alba down in the box and Ferran Torres stepped up to convert it coolly.

Torres added his second goal of the night at the other end of the half-time break after turning and firing home from close range. Gavi then found the back of the net with a delightful volley that took a rebound off the post and went in as he became the youngest goal-scorer for Spain in the World Cup as well as becoming the youngest scorer since Pele in 1954.

Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata came off the bench to add the final two goals on the night to make it a complete capitulation for Luis Enrique’s side.