After the massacres of giants, came the deluge.
Spain took no chances as they took seven against Costa Rica at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
After seizing the game with a goal in ten minutes, La Roja made sure not to let go.
At the half hour mark, they were leading 3-0 with playoff winners New Zealand down trying to reduce the score.
What they failed to do, Spain added four more in the second half.
The seven-goal victory was not even flattering as Spain’s superiority was great, Costa Rica not managing a shot or a corner.
After beating Australia 4-1 on Tuesday, French striker Ousmane Dembele warned: “In modern football there are no small teams. If you lower the intensity you are in trouble. “
It was a lesson Argentina failed to learn earlier in the day after leading against Saudi Arabia, and Germany dismissed after leading against Japan on Wednesday.
The impact of the tournament’s second earthquake shock was still being felt as Spain kicked off just a few miles away and just an hour later, and they were in no mood to allow a third shock.
Despite having to challenge themselves through illness and injury, Spain took command from the start, dominating the ball and blowing so many holes in Costa Rica’s cover, the first goal was no surprise.
Dani Olmo scored in the 11th minute from a neat pass from Gavi, the striker spinning smartly before leveling a shot at Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas.
Ten minutes later Sergio Busquets, the sole survivor of the 2010 winning side, swept a pass to Jordi Alba whose cross was met by a shot from Marco Asensio that Navas should have dodged.
Ten minutes later, Oscar Duarte clipped Alba’s heel and Ferran Torres made it 3-0 from the spot.
It was game over, a Spanish defense with Manchester City midfielder Rodri out of position having never been tested.
Torres netted a 54th-minute fourth from close range before Gavi stole a spectacular 75th-minute fifth from Alvaro Morata’s cross.
That makes him the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pele in the 1958 final.
As injury time approached, Soler drove after Navas failed to hold off Nico Williams’ teasing cross. Then Morata played a one-two with Olmo before slotting in the seventh.
It was the first time Spain had scored seven goals in a World Cup match, and was achieved with the first starting XI featuring two teenagers (Gavi, 18, and Pedri, 19) by n any team since 1962.
It was also a worrying performance for a German side due to get a result when the teams meet on Sunday.
with the agencies
- Gavi youngest World Cup scorer since Pele
- Costa Rica bounce back to stun Japan
- Spain’s kids tackle experienced Costa Rica
- Costa Rica stun Japan with late Fuller winner
- Fati shines as Spain win final Cup warmup