Spain vs Costa Rica: Talking Points as La Furia Roja register a 7 Star victory in the World Cup match


Spain started their 2022 FIFA World Cup with a stunning seven-star win against Costa Rica at the Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday night. Luis Enrique’s young guns came out guns blazing seven times without an answer to find the back of the net. Ferran Torres scored a double, while Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata scored one each to help La Furia Roja grab all three points and finish top of Group E. It was a major performance. The North Americans, as 2010 world champions, failed to create a single scoring chance. With first round falters like Argentina and Germany, Spain certainly made a statement. Meanwhile, Enrique’s decision to start Rodri alongside Aymeric Laporte in central defense may have surprised some, but the Manchester City player has done a fine job at the heart of the back-four and it will be interesting to see whether Spanish strategists will choose it. Same strategy against big teams.

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Spain’s midfield was brilliant

The all-Barcelona midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Gavi and Pedri was superb. The 34-year-old veteran Busquets, playing in his fourth World Cup final, was at his best, controlling the pace of his game, changing plays with ease and building a bridge between attack and defence. Meanwhile, teenagers Gavi and Pedri worked their socks off, were impressive with their high pressing and had the quality to join the attack when in possession of the ball.

Gavi was an extraordinary artist

The 18-year-old Gavi was undoubtedly the standout performer of the day. The Barcelona-man, playing his 13th international game, displayed immense maturity and technical form running the engine room alongside Busquets, who has more than 100 caps to his name. The youngster did his job, registering an assist and scoring a superb goal. Gavi provided Olmo with a killer pass to open the scoring inside the opening 11 minutes. And then, 16 minutes from time, the Las Masias academy graduate found the back of the net with a stunning first-time volley from the edge of the box. It was the youngster’s second international goal and with it he became the third youngest scorer in World Cup history.

False no. 9 did their job

The Spanish national team was often criticized for not having a proper striker in their playing XI and this time too, Enrique opted for a 4–3–3 formation consisting of Olmo, Asensio and Torres. Torres was the only recognized forward in the playing XI, while he was deployed on the right channel and Asensio played at the wrong no. 9’s role. The Real Madrid man did a good job of linking up with fellow attackers, finding the back of the net in the 21st minute courtesy of a superb first-time half-volley from left-back Jordi Alba’s cross. During the forward run, 7 Spanish players were positioned around the Costa Rica penalty box, their quick one-touch passing and positional inter-play getting too hot for the North American.



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