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

(Jordi Blanco) — Spain overwhelmed, overwhelmed and crushed Costa Rica 7-0 in the best World Cup debut in its history, in one of the greatest exhibitions that can be remembered in the tournament and in the biggest win for La Roja in this tournament. They surpassed, almost surpassed, the 4-0 against Ukraine with which the team led by Luis Aragonés debuted in 2006 and turned their presentation in Qatar into a monumental exhibition. Agility, presence, speed, combination, suffocating pressure, immediate ball recovery. All good, all perfect. A game that made it clear that La Roja has reached the World Cup with perfect preparation and ambition.

As happened five years ago in the friendly they played in Malaga, Spain endorsed a rout against Costa Rica almost without opposition. And if then it was understood as an excellent test for the disappointing World Cup in Russia, now it has been proven as a presentation in style. At the height of England, even above the champion France. And showing Argentina and Germany that greatness is shown on the pitch, not simply in history…

The Ticos did not even have time to take the measures of change when they already began to suffer a total siege that turned the first half into a run over. Dani Olmo touched the goal after five minutes and Marco Asensio did it again after eight, both assisted by a monumental Pedri who, from the outset, took command of an undisguised offensive game.

Busquets looked at him calmly and Gavi accompanied the pressure… Until after that second chance, suddenly, Spain imposed an even more forceful march and, clearly, Costa Rica fell apart. The exhibition began with a superb assist from Gavi to Dani Olmo, continuation of an excellent group combination and prior to a magnificent control and shot from the Leipzig striker that made it 1-0 on the scoreboard.

Taking the first step, and far from stopping the momentum as might be feared, understanding the harshness of the calendar, Spain maintained, and even increased, the intensity of its football. A suffocating pressure that did not allow the rivals to keep the ball for a moment, commendable patience in the combination and the search for continuous unchecking on both flanks, Jordi Alba becoming another dagger on the left, the perfect companion for Ferran Torres.

It was precisely Alba, after receiving an excellent long diagonal pass from Busquets, who assisted after twenty minutes for Marco Asensio to finish off the net first, the Costa Rican markers powerless to maintain order and even less to chase the ball, and powerless, also, Keylor Navas before the avalanche he suffered.

If you could already imagine then that the game was doomed, you couldn’t think that Spain would keep intact the oppressive and unleashed rhythm. Busquets was already the owner and alongside him they shared an immeasurable Pedri, a superb Gavi, a magnificent Marco Asensio and even a Rodri who, a central theoretician, joined the midfield to play, always, in the opposite field.

There the ability to uncheck and speed of Olmo and Ferran drove a defense crazy without time to adapt or organize, even less with the arrivals of Jordi Alba, who caused the penalty, after half an hour, which Ferran transformed for a 3-0 already indisputable.


No one at that point could suspect that Costa Rica was capable of overcoming defeat. Even less that it could put Spain in trouble… But it is that after finishing that first half with the game sentenced, neither could he imagine that Luis Enrique’s team would go to the second half with the same intensity as in the first.

If Luis Fernando Suárez’s team wanted to recover a bit of spirit with the entry of Kendall Watson after the break, what they found was an unleashed rival. Luis Enrique must have encouraged his team to multiply and maintain the tone and, without a doubt, the players fulfilled it to the letter.

This is the only way to understand how a bounced ball that should have been lost in the hands of Keylor Navas or Francisco Calvo’s clearance ended up being finished off by Ferran Torres, on the edge of the small area, to make it 4-0 after 54 minutes. or that ten years later Morata did not give up after a failed shot in front of the goalkeeper to, leaning to the wing, launch a wide-open cross that Dani Olmo finished off exquisitely from the front to achieve the fifth, the little hand in a sensational premiere.

The Spanish coach diligently and calmly moved the team with the changes and each player that came in, from Morata to the rookie Balde, showed him the reason why he trusts them so much. Spain liked it in such a way that even Carlos Soler and Morata himself joined the party with the sixth and seventh goals when the end was already expected, when Costa Rica, on its knees, almost implored mercy from a rival who exhibited himself as nobody could To imagine.

Spain entered the World Cup with greatness. An impressive greatness.

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