Spain vs Costa Rica 7-0: The Tiki Taka Is Alive and Kicking!

One thing is for sure: when Spain play their World Cup opener, you are going to see at least six goals. La Furia Roja were dismantled by Netherlands in 2014 as they lost 1-5, then gave life to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Portugal four years ago. Tonight, they finally were on the winning end as they mercilessly put seven goals into poor Keylor Navas’ Costa Rica net.

On a side note, if La Mano de America was hoping to use the World Cup stage to relaunch his career after being benched by Gianluigi Donnarumma at PSG, his performance against Spain surely didn’t help his cause.

In all fairness, it was the whole Costa Rican side to put together a frankly indecent show on Wednesday night, so much that it is difficult to judge the real consistency of a Spanish side that appeared shimmering on the pitch of the Al Thumama Stadium.

Costa Rican woes aside, coach Luis Enrique showed that the Tiki Taka is alive and kicking. Spain’s first goal, which came after ten minutes of absolute domination, was a pure sample of the footballing beauty that made the Furia Roja famous one decade ago. 

Dani Olmo slotted the ball home with three touches after a fine exchange with 18-year-old Gavi to seal Spain’s 100th goal in the world competition. Ten minutes later, Marco Asensio turned a delicious Jordi Alba pass into the second for the Iberians. The third goal came from the penalty spot, courtesy of an Oscar Duarte foul and Ferran Torres’ perfect conversion. At half time, the game was already done and dusted.

At that point, Costa Rica could only try to limit the damage. Their coach switched to a five-man defense but that did not help either. On 54 minutes, defender Celso Borges and Keylor Navas were both to blame as they failed to read a Gavi pass for Ferran Torres. The Barcelona striker had an easy time in finding the net again.

Luis Enrique then rotated his attacking options, bringing in Alvaro Morata, Koke, and Serie A veteran Keita Baldé. Morata offered Gavi the chance to become the first 2004-born player to score in this World Cup, which the youngster made good use of with a phenomenal volley.  

In the final stages, Spain added two more as Navas failed to catch a cross from the right side and Carlos Soler had an easy task in slotting the ball home. Then, on 92 minutes, Morata also managed to write his name in the scoresheet with a sharp left foot strike. 

Spain will play again on Sunday against Germany in a game that is already a do-or-die affair for Die Mannschaft after their shocking loss to Japan. That will surely pose a better test to really evaluate Luis Enrique’s side world credentials.



November 23, 2022 – FIFA World Cup Group E

SCORERS: 11′ Dani Olmo, 21′ Asensio, 31′ Ferran Torres pen., 54′ Ferran Torres, 74′ Gavi, 90′ Soler, 92′ Morata

SPAIN (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Jordi Alba (64′ Balde); Gavi, Busquets (64′ Koke), Pedri (57′ C. Soler); Ferran Torres (57′ ), Asensio (N. Williams), Dani Olmo (Sánchez, E. Garcia, Pau Torres, Llorente, Raya, Guillamón, Yeremy Pino, Carvajal, Sarabia, Ansu Fati) Coach: Luis Enrique
COSTA RICA (4-2-3-1): Keylor Navas; Martinez (46′ K. Waston), Duarte, Calvo, Bryan Oviedo (82′ Matarrita); Fuller, Borges (72′ B. Aguilera), Tejeda, Bennette (61′ B. Ruiz); Contreras, Campbell (61′ A. Zamora) (Chacón, Vargas, Venegas, Gerson Torres, Salas, Alvarado, D. Lopez, Sequeira, Wilson, A. Hernandez) Coach: Suarez
REFEREE: Mr. Hassan (UAE)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Calvo (C); Added Time: 1st Half 5′, 2nd Half 8′
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