Spain vs. Costa Rica – Football Match Report – November 23, 2022

Spain claimed their biggest ever World Cup victory and took pole position in Group E with an emphatic 7-0 win over Costa Rica on Wednesday.

Dani Olmo opened the scoring with a neat turn and finish after 11 minutes to give Spain an early lead at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar, and Marco Asensio doubled their lead 10 minutes later with a well-taken Jordi Alba cross.

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Costa Rica had no reply and their task became more difficult in the 31st minute when Alba was brought down by defender Oscar Duarte in the penalty area and the ensuing penalty was converted by Ferran Torres.

Torres took advantage of poor Costa Rican defending in the 54th minute before Gavi added another with a superb strike to become the youngest World Cup player since Pele in 1954. Striker Carlos Soler came off the bench to score Spain’s sixth in a 90-minute strike. minute, while substitute Alvaro Morata scored the seventh moment later.

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Spain, who last won the World Cup in 2010, face Germany on Sunday in what is now a crucial game for Germany, which suffered a shock defeat against Japan on Wednesday.

“We’re happy. We knew it would be a tough game. It’s true that we already had a big lead at half-time, but goals can be useful in a competition like this, so we went for more,” Torres said in Spanish. TV station TVE.

“Now let’s think about Germany, let’s watch videos of how they play and be happy to play. I don’t know if we are candidates [to win the World Cup] but we have an exceptional group, we will make things difficult and we want to do big things.”

Spain controlled the game from the kick-off, Costa Rica stunned them with their early attack and failed to find rhythm in a game that saw Pedri, Olmo and Asensio dazzle.

Spain almost took the lead after five minutes when Pedri’s deep cross from the left found Olmo, whose shot flew wide of the post.

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Asensio missed a clear chance moments later, taking a clumsy touch on the ball and sending it wide after being picked out by key man Pedri, who played a role in seemingly every Spanish attack.

They took the lead in the 11th minute when Gavi, who at 18 became Spain’s youngest ever World Cup player, flicked the ball into the path of Olmo, who turned and lifted it deftly past goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Spain pressed hard for a second and got it in the 21st minute when Alba’s deft pass across the box found Asensio, who fired low past Navas.

Spain looked impatient for a third and won a penalty in the 31st minute when Duarte tripped Alba as Torres coolly stroked the ball down the middle past a helpless Navas.

Spain came back from the break hungry for more and Asensio fired over the bar as Olmo’s dangerous moves tested a seaworthy Costa Rican defence.

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Torres gave Spain their fourth in the 53rd minute, but himself down the right, finding Gavi, who played back into the box for the Barcelona striker to turn and fire home the home side’s second.

Gavi scored in the 16th minute from Alvaro Morata’s floating cross with a sumptuous strike off the post, before Soler and Morata completed the demolition with two goals in the dying minutes.

“All the positive energy the fans can send us is great. But training starts tomorrow to prepare for the Germany game,” Spain head coach Luis Enrique told TVE. “Praise weakens you and we won’t fall for it. Our idea is to always play the same way, of course we won’t win the other games by scoring so many goals, but we are a tough opponent, anyone who understands football can see that.”

Information provided by Reuters contributed to this report.

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