Spain beat Costa Rica 7-0, record biggest win ever in World Cup
Spain inflicted a crushing defeat on Wednesday by thrashing Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening Group E match, launching their bid to lift a second World Cup. Avoiding the fate of veteran Argentina and group rivals Germany, who had earlier lost 2-1 to Japan, Luis Enrique’s fancied side dominated Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium and mercilessly took advantage of their chances. Ferran Torres netted twice and Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata were also on the scoresheet in an emphatic tally for the Euro 2020 semi-finalists.
In the past the 2010 World Cup winners have paid the price for extravagance, but trio forward Luis Enrique netted in the first half to make them pay for their faith.
The coach placed Asensio on the false nine, alongside Olmo and Torres, starting with Morata and Ansu Fati on the bench.
The coach opted to deploy Manchester City midfielder Rodri Hernandez in central defense alongside club teammate Aymeric Laporte, anticipating that his team would monopolize the ball.
It took only 11 minutes for La Rosa to open the scoring, Gavi lofting a pass forward to get Olmo in the area and the RB Leipzig winger taking a sublime touch to turn and another to gently slot the ball past Keylor Navas. Took to stroke.
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Costa Rica, who were a surprise package at the 2014 World Cup after beating Italy and Uruguay and drawing with England at the top of their group, broke away again for the second goal 10 minutes later.
Jordi Alba’s low drilled cross was parried by Real Madrid forward Asensio past his former team-mate Navas, who would have made more effort to keep it out.
Torres fired home from the penalty spot after Alba was fouled by Oscar Duarte–a soft call on a tough night for Los Ticos, who were never in the game and failed to get a shot on target.
Barcelona forward Torres took advantage of a more sluggish defense early in the second half to slot the fourth past Navas.
Luis Enrique was able to take off the brilliant Pedri and Torres before the hour mark to rest them for Sunday’s clash with Germany, handing his debut to teenage Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde.
The 19-year-old roared onto the pitch in the build-up to Spain’s fifth goal, which saw substitute Morata cross for Gavi to confidently drill home.
Copa Trophy winner Gavi became the third-youngest goalscorer at the World Cup at the age of 18 years and 110 days, behind Mexico’s Manuel Rojas and record holder Pelé.
Soler and Morata then caused further trouble for Costa Rica with stoppage-time strikes to help Spain flex their muscles in a perfect opening match in Qatar.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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