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Spain vs. Costa Rica score: La Roja stick seven past Ticos, take Group E lead after blowout

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Spain opened their FIFA World Cup campaign with a thumping 7-0 win over Costa Rica in Doha. La Roja announced themselves at Qatar with a masterful display against a woeful Ticos side as Ferran Torres scored twice.

The Spanish went ahead after just 11 minutes through Dani Olmo and it was 2-0 just 10 minutes after that as Marco Asensio converted from Jordi Alba's ball in. Torres got his first from the penalty spot after Alba was fouled by Oscar Duarte and Luis Enrique's men were 3-0 up at the break.

Keylor Navas endured a horrible afternoon at Al Thumama Stadium and it was made worse 10 minutes into the second half when Torres struck again. Gavi added a fifth 15 minutes from time with a wonderful finish from an Alvaro Morata assist off the bench to become the youngest World Cup goal scorer since Pele in 1958, but Costa Rica's misery was not done there.

Substitute Carlos Soler added a sixth late on for Spain as they seized control of Group E in emphatic style with Morata adding a seventh for added gloss after an exchange with Olmo.

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Goals galore

The major question before Spain got underway was where the goals would be coming from and Luis Enrique's men answered with six different scorers. Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Ferran Torres (twice), Gavi, Carlos Soler, and Alvaro Morata all chipping in. Many of the goals were exceptional in terms of their technique too with Gavi perhaps the pick of the bunch as he volleyed home to become the youngest World Cup scorer since Pele.

Damage control

Costa Rica were always going to be up against it and reliant upon a tight defense and now they know that they are well and truly off the necessary pace at this World Cup. A rusty Navas was unable to rescue his side as the Spanish were relentless in their bombardment of Los Ticos' goal. It is no longer a question of whether the Costa Ricans can survive in this group, but now a question of whether they can keep it respectable.

Youthful brilliance

Enrique has bet heavily on youth in areas with this Spanish squad and he was rewarded by brilliant performances from the likes of Gavi, Pedri, Olmo, and Torres to mention just a few. Sure, they do not have the same experience as some of their teammates like Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Sergio Busquets, but their technical mastery is among the most exciting in the world right now and this was a frightening display for future opponents.

CONCACAF crisis?

Should Canada fail to beat Belgium, none of the CONCACAF representatives will have won in the opening round of games. The USMNT and Mexico both drew while Costa Rica has been blown out here. The Red Devils are no easy task for the Canucks, but they are now the regional hope for a first World Cup victory in Qatar.

Early favorites?

It is arguably too early to say and perhaps not the best game to draw conclusions from, but Spain looked very good. If they can perform similarly against the likes of Germany and Japan, then they will look even more legitimate. That clash next with the Germans is huge after Hansi Flick's men lost to Samurai Blue. 

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FT: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

That was savage from the Spanish with Olmo, Asensio, Torres (two), Gavi, Soler, and Morata all on target. A thoroughly horrific outing for Los Ticos who already need to think about damage control.


Spain 7-0 Costa Rica!

Los Ticos are well and truly done here. Substitute Morata adds a goal to his assist after an exchange with Olmo. This has been brutal to watch at times. Navas looks broken.


Spain 6-0 Costa Rica!

Substitute Soler puts the icing on the cake for La Roja and rubs salt into Costa Rican wounds. This has been a blowout and it puts Spain firmly in control of Group E.


Spain 5-0 Costa Rica!

Gavi with a stunner! The Golden Boy with a sensational strike in off the post with the outside of his boot. Morata with the assist -- magnificent technique on the goal.


Enrique ringing the changes

Spain making a number of substitutions now. Nico Williams, brother of Ghana's Inaki, comes on for his World Cup debut. Alvaro Morata, Carlos Soler, Koke, Alejandro Balde, and Williams all now on the field.


Spain 4-0 Costa Rica!

This is getting brutal for Los Ticos. Torres at the double as he scraps for a loose ball before tucking it underneath Navas who has to pick the ball out of his net again. Hellish opener for the CONCACAF side, but delight for the UEFA outfit who are making a strong early impression in Qatar.


Tiki Taka on the rise?

An interesting stat from the game so far is that Spain have completed 500+ passes in the first half of a World Cup game. The number was 549 to be precise and that is the first time since records began in 1966 that a team can boast that in any half of any game -- even La Roja in their prime 10 years ago or so. 


HT: Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

The Spanish are running riot in Doha so far. Olmo with a superb opener from a Gavi assist before Asensio doubled La Roja's lead after being teed up by Alba. Torres scored the third from the penalty spot after Duarte fouled Alba. The big question is this: can it get much worse for Costa Rica? Los Ticos have been smashed so far and Luis Enrique's men could work up a rout in the second half. One thing is for sure, Germany now face a much tougher challenge than first thought after their surprise loss to Japan.


Spain 3-0!

Torres fires home from the penalty spot after Duarte's foul on Alba. This has been a shocking start for Los Ticos who have been utterly pulverized here. Surely there is no way back and it is simply a question of how many the Spanish manage to get?


Spain make it 2-0!

Luis Enrique's men are in total control at Al Thumama Stadium. Asensio sweeps home from an Alba assist and Navas was unable to keep it out. Tough on the PSG man who has barely played this season as he will undoubtedly face questions over his role in that. Truth is that Costa Rica are being majorly outplayed and look good for a hiding here. 


History made by Spain

The Spanish are the sixth country to score 100 World Cup goals or more with Germany, Brazil, Italy, Argentina, and France ahead of them. Also of note, La Roja have avoided defeat in their last three games after scoring the opener in World Cup games. The last time that they were beaten after scoring first was their 5-1 thumping at the hands of the Netherlands back in 2014.


Spain lead 1-0!

A stunning goal to beat Navas and open the scoring in Doha. Olmo with a superb piece of trickery and finish from Gavi's deflected assist with Pedri involved in the build-up. La Roja have lift-off! Questions about Luis Enrique's lack of goal presences, but who needs one with goals like this one? Sensational start for the Spanish.


Early stages

All eyes on Al Thumama Stadium now as the game has kicked off. Hoping for one of the shocks we are currently enjoying rather than the latest in the growing trend of goalless draws! Spain are chasing their 1000th World Cup goal -- a milestone moment for whoever gets it. Dani Olmo fluffs an early chance from a brilliant Pedri assist and Asensio also wastes a chance teed up by the Barca boy.


Spain's youthful promise

Gavi just one of a number of very talented Barcelona youngsters in this Spanish squad. Pedri, and Ferran Torres too -- just in the starting XI! Also got Eric Garcia and Ansu Fati in the squad. Feels like a real battle between youth and experience today.


Samurai stunner!

What a result! Japan beat Germany 2-1. Not quite Saudi Arabia beating Argentina on Tuesday, but still mightily impressive. What a way to brush away the cobwebs after Morocco and Croatia's goalless draw. More of the same, please! 


Confirmed XIs

Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba; Busquets (c), Gavi, Pedri; Torres, Asensio, Olmo.

Luis Enrique goes without a recognized No. 9 as Marco Asensio leads the way in attack with Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres on either side. Rodri in central defense alongside Aymeric Laporte seemingly the big surprise in this XI.

Costa Rica: Navas (c); Martinez, Fuller, Duarte, Calvo, Oviedo; Campbell, Borges, Tejeda, Bennette; Contreras.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas captain in Bryan Ruiz's absence. A lot of older legs in that Costa Rican XI. Can they roll back the years here?


Costa Rica starting XI

Ticos: Navas; Oviedo, Calvo, Waston, Duarte, Fuller, Bennette, Tejeda, Borges, Campbell, Contreras


Shock alert?

Japan are minutes away from beating Germany 2-1. Can Samurai Blue hold on and start Group E with a bang? Despite many predicting that the Japanese would be tricky customers, what an unexpected result this would be.


Spain starting XI

Luis Enrique goes without a recognized No. 9 as Marco Asensio leads the way in attack with Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres on either side. Rodri in central defense alongside Aymeric Laporte seemingly the big surprise in this XI.

Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba; Busquets (c), Gavi, Pedri; Torres, Asensio, Olmo.



Thank you for joining our World Cup coverage of Spain vs. Costa Rica. Before we get into team news from Al Thumama Stadium, a reminder that Morocco and Croatia shared a goalless draw in the Group F opener and Germany currently trail Japan 2-1 in Group E. Now, to our team news...

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