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

Spain claimed their biggest win of the World Cup on Wednesday to take pole position in Group E with a comfortable 7-0 win over Costa Rica.

Dani Olmo opened the scoring with a fine turn and finish in the 11th minute 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-executed finish from Jordi Alba’s cross.

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Costa Rice provided little response and their task became more difficult in the 31st minute when Alba was brought down by defender Oscar Duarte in the penalty area and Ferran Torres converted the ensuing penalty.

Torres added his second goal in the 54th minute when he capitalized on some sloppy Costa Rican saves before Gavi added another with a superb volley to become the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pele in 1954. Striker Carlos Soler came off the bench to score the sixth goal of Spain in the 90th minute, while second substitute Alvaro Morata scored the seventh moments later.

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

“We are happy. We knew it would be a difficult game. It’s true that we already had a big advantage at halftime, but in a competition like this, goals can be useful, so we went for more,” Torres told Spanish. TV station TVE.

“Now we will think about Germany, watch videos of them playing, and we are excited to play. I don’t know if we are candidates [to win the World Cup] but we have an outstanding group, we will make things difficult and we want to do big things.”

Spain were in control from the kick-off and Costa Rica were bewildered by their early attack and couldn’t find any rhythm in a game that saw Pedri, Olmo and Asensio shine.

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

Asensio squandered a clear chance moments later, connecting awkwardly with the ball and sending it wide after being picked out by the crucial Pedri, who had a role in seemingly every Spain attack.

They took the lead on 11 minutes when Gavi, who at 18 became Spain’s youngest player at the World Cup, flicked the ball into the path of Olmo, who turned and skilfully slotted it past advancing goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Spain pressed hard for a second and succeeded in the 21st minute when Alba’s neat cross across the penalty area found Asensi who shot low past Navas.

Spain were eager for a third and won a penalty in the 31st minute when Duarte tripped Alba and Torres coolly slotted the ball down the middle past a helpless Navas.

Spain returned from the break hungry for more, with Asensio firing wide as Olmo’s dangerous runs tested Costa Rica’s defense at sea.

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Torres gave Spain fourth and himself a goal in the 53rd minute, finding Gavi on the right, who played it back into space for the Barcelona striker to turn and score a second time.

Gavi found the net himself with 16 minutes to go with a gorgeous volley past the post after Alvaro Morata’s floating cross, then Soler and Morata completed the demolition with two goals in the closing minutes.

“All the positive energy that the fans can send us is great. But training starts tomorrow to prepare for the match with Germany,” Spain 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 rest of the games with so many goals, but we are a tough opponent, anyone who understands football can see that.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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