Spain crushes Costa Rica in the opening match, Gavi makes history

DOHA, Qatar — With the following notable global heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Japan pulled out of the beautiful upside down Argentina and Germany, Spain do not waste time Costa Rica go to bed early in the 7-0 victory. It was a historically dominant victory at the World Cup and one that made Spain one of the favorites for the rest of the tournament.

– 2022 FIFA World Cup: News and features | Schedule | squad

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Rapid response

1. What is the problem of scoring?

Coming to the World Cup, there were valid questions about Spain’s attack. Combining World Cup qualifying and UEFA Nations League, Spain ranks 17th in the region in terms of goals (23 in 14 games) and has not scored more than 2 goals in the last 11 matches. Against a Costa Rican team that used to use a five-man defense against their old midfielders Real Madrid Goalie keylor navasa low-scoring game seems likely, if not very likely.

That line of thought quickly disappeared. Costa Rica started by defending in a 4-4-2 formation, Spain’s attack was cut off easily, almost immediately. Dani OlmoThe opening goal in the 11th minute came from a good combination when he combined with Gavilike Barcelona The midfielder’s clearance brought him in front of goal, where he calmly turned and shot.

When Marco Ascensio scored Jordi Alba support ten minutes later, the result has been consolidated and Ferran Torres‘ the penalty helped Spain score more goals in 31 minutes than the 18 teams in the league had scored in full time up to that point. The attack never slows down.

2. A historic effort

Spain’s seven goals are the most they have ever scored in a World Cup match, breaking the previous record held by a 6-1 win over Bulgaria in 1998. In the process, Spain almost equaled its total goals in the entire 2010 World Cup when scoring 7 goals. scored eight points while winning the whole tournament.

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It was the biggest win at the World Cup since Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 in 2010 and the first time any team has scored seven goals in a game since Germany scored seven in the past Brazil in the 2014 semi-finals (The World Cup’s winning streak is nine, this has happened three times with the last coming in 1982).

Spain are the first team to draw an opponent without a shot at a World Cup since 1990, when Brazil did the same against Costa Rica. And Spain’s 81.3% possession percentage is the most dominant rate since at least 1966. All told, it was one of the most dominant performances ever at the World Cup.

3. Thanks for coming, Costa Rica

Costa Rica always has to put on an unbelievable performance to get out of a group that has two recent World Cup winners (Spain and Germany) and Japan. After this result, the idea that that could happen seems absurd. The goal now is to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2006, when the team lost all three games and finished 31st in the league.

For coach Luis Fernando Sanchez, the decision to play with a back four was strange. Especially knowing that Spain will play with most of the ball and sometimes struggle against a solid defence. It won’t make a difference in the end result Los Ticos Starting with five full-backs, Fernandez essentially admitted he made a tactical mistake by switching to a 5-4-1 formation after falling behind early.

Costa Rica’s worst previous defeat at a World Cup was 3 goals: 1990 against Czechoslovakia (4-1), 2002 against Brazil (5-2) and 2006 before Ecuador (3-0).

Player Rating

Spain: U. Simon 6, C. Azpilicueta 7, S. Busquets 8, Gavi 9, M. Asensio 9, F. Torres 8, Rodri 7, J. Alba 8, D. Olmo 8, A. LaPorte 7, Pedri 7

Prep: Soler 6, Morata 7, Balde 6, Koke 6, Williams 6

Costa Rica: K. Navas 3, K. Fuller 4, C. Borges 4, O. Duarte 4, A. Conteras 5, B. Oviedo 4, J. Bennette, J. Campbell, F. Calvo 4, C. Martinez 5, Y. Tejeda 5

Prep: Watson 6, Ruiz 6, Zamora 5, Aguilera 5, Matarita 6

Best and worst performers

BEST: Gavi

Given how dominant Spain is, any number of players could be featured here, but let’s take a moment to acknowledge the importance of Gavi’s performance. He became the third youngest player (18 years, 110 days) to ever score at a World Cup and did so with a contender to score the tournament’s goal.

WORST: Navas

It was a collective disaster, but Navas saved his teammates as he did so many times in international tournaments.

Highlights and remarkable moments

Spain started the 2022 World Cup with a win, something they have failed to do in the last three tournaments since 2010 that they won.

We will see a lot of young Barcelona players Pedri and Gavi in ​​the coming years.

Spain’s midfield is showing master class against Costa Rica, the team is completely overwhelmed.

After Gavi made it 5 for Spain with a superb strike, there was no doubt that Enrique’s side were a threat in front of goal.

After the game: What players and coaches say

Ferran Torres of Spain: “We are very happy. We knew it was going to be a difficult game. It was true that at half-time we were ahead but in a competition like this, goals can be useful, so we tried harder… That’s what we try to do in every game, play from the first minute until the 90th minute the way we want to play, and take the game where we want it to be, and today we have achieved it… Now we will think about Germany, watch the video of how they play and we are very excited to play. I don’t know if we are candidates. (Win the World Cup) or not but we have a phenomenal team, we’re going to make things difficult and we want to do big things.”

Spain head coach Luis Enrique: “It was a very special game for us. We tried to stay focused to start well. We wanted to start the tournament in the best way possible and everything went very well for us. We didn’t play well in the first game of the last World Cup. We played against a very competitive team in Costa Rica, but today we were superior in every aspect of the game.”

Costa Rica’s head coach, Luis Suarez: “I feel very sad, no doubt. Other than that, I had very different expectations for this match and my feelings were completely different before this match. To be honest, I felt it. no OK.” “Psychologically, I’m really worried that my team won’t be able to deal with this bad result and the way we’re playing. That’s the first solution that I need to give my team and us. have to put this aside and start working from tomorrow morning to show our players that we have to remember Japan and try to win that game.”

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

– Spain scored their 100th World Cup goal – the 6th country to do so.

– Gavi: 18 years and 110 days, becoming the youngest player to play for Spain in a major international tournament (EURO + WC).

– Gavi is the first teenage player to score for Spain in a World Cup.

– Spain: 81.3% possession – the highest in a FIFA World Cup match since 1966.

– 7 is the most goals Spain has scored in a World Cup match.


Spain: Spain is holding its head high against Germany in shock. The last time the two powers met, Spain beat Germany 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League (November 17, 2020).

Costa Rica: After their worst performance at the World Cup ever, Costa Rica had to face a Japanese team arguably the best in history. That may not be good for Los Ticos but they shouldn’t be overwhelmed like they did against Spain.


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