Luis Enrique’s side soar to the top of Group E after producing the most dominant display of the World Cup yet.
Spain began their World Cup in dazzling style on Wednesday night, thumping Costa Rica 7-0 at the Al Thumama Stadium in a record win that marked the most dominant display yet in this year’s tournament.
Midfielder Dani Olmo opened his side’s account in the 11th minute, marking the Spaniards’ 100th-ever World Cup goal and beginning a procession that was capped off by Alvaro Morata in the 92nd minute.
Ten minutes later, Marco Asensio timed a run into the box perfectly to connect powerfully with a Jordi Alba cross.
Ferran Torres then stroked home the first of his two goals from the penalty spot in the 31st minute, with the Barcelona winger claiming his second in the 54th minute when he took advantage of hesitant defending.
Four became five 20 minutes later when Gavi, the youngest player to represent Spain at a World Cup, struck with a perfect volley in the 74th minute.
Midfielder Gavi is the youngest player to represent Spain at a World Cup [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
At 18 years and 110 days, he also became the youngest goal scorer in a World Cup match since Brazilian legend Pelé netted in the 1958 final against Sweden.
Substitutes Carlos Soler and Morata then rounded off the totally one-sided encounter as the game drew to a close, securing Spain its biggest-ever World Cup triumph.
The Spaniards’ display was built on near-total control of the ball, with the side completing nearly 1,000 passes throughout the course of the game and enjoying more than 80 percent of possession overall.
Pedri, Spain’s 19-year-old starlet, was particularly outstanding in central midfield, playing an orchestrating role in seemingly every attack.
Meanwhile, the shell-shocked South American side only managed to string together 166 passes and failed to have a single shot at goal.
0 – Costa Rica failed to have a single shot against Spain today, just the second instance of a side failing to have an attempt on goal in a World Cup match since 1966, after Costa Rica themselves against Brazil in 1990. Shy. pic.twitter.com/FOeZi81viq
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 23, 2022
The result put Spain in Group E’s top spot, with Japan in second following the Blue Samurai’s shock 2-1 victory over Germany earlier on Wednesday.
Spain’s next outing will see them come up against Germany on Sunday, with Japan set to take on Costa Rica on the same day. A win for La Roja would almost certainly mean elimination for their European rivals.