World Cup Group E: Spain flies top in group of death with 7-0 blowout of Costa Rica

Ferran Torres Spain Costa Rica World Cup
Ferran Torres (right) celebrates one of his two goals on Wednesday against Costa Rica. (Photo: FIFA World Cup)

The buck that was shocking World Cup upsets ended with Spain, who watched Germany’s surprising result to Japan in Group E and proceeded to thump Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday to take the group lead on goal difference.

It’s the most goals ever scored by Spain in a World Cup.

Ferran Torres recorded a brace to lead an overwhelming Spanish attack, proving to be the man up front for a side that needed someone to step up as the main scoring threat to facilitate the abundance of playmaking talent from the midfield and the wings.

La Roja scored three goals over a 20-minute stretch in the first half to eliminate any thought of this being a competitive match.

Dani Almo got Spain’s opener in style in the 11th minute, taking down a deflected pass over the top of the Costa Rica defense in the box while turning and shielding the ball. With his second touch, he beat legendary Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas in what would be a difficult night for the PSG man.

Ten minutes later, Marco Asensio cannoned a cross first time brilliantly into the right side of the goal off the hands of a diving Navas, who might have made that save had he been in form and receiving regular playing time at PSG rather than backing up Gianluigi Donnarumma. 

Torres got his first of the day ten minutes after Asensio’s tally via the penalty spot as he sent Navas the wrong way with an easy finish to the bottom-left corner.

A disinterested-looking Costa Rica backed off to give Torres his second in the 54th minute. After bundling his way into the box, he was allowed to turn to the right of goal by defender Bryan Oviedo to send a spinning shot home at a tough angle.

Spain’s rout became a bit more historic when 18-year-old Gavi picked up his side’s fifth of the match in the 74th minute to become the youngest Spaniard ever to score at a World Cup.

And he did so brilliantly, volleying a cross from the edge of the box with the outside of his right foot — an absolutely sublime finish that kissed off the right post before going in. 

Carlos Soler put the bow on La Roja’s huge day when he cannoned home a rebound amidst a scrambling Costa Rican defense before Alvaro Morata picked up his 28th career goal in 58 caps, making it look like an American Football score in the second minute of stoppage time.

The result all but means curtains for Costa Rica after just one match in Qatar. At the bottom of the group with a minus-7 goal differential, they still have to face Japan and Germany. As for Spain, it’ll have to like its chances to win Group E now after Germany’s shock loss, though we’ll get a better idea of just how good it is against more of a quality opponent — which will be desperate to keep its tournament hopes alive.

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