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Spain is back to the best fluent in a perfect start


Spain Globalism The 2010 Cup winners built their victory on a relentless passing game that left opponents chasing shadows, and their record 7-0 defeat of Costa Rica on Wednesday suggests they are back to their best, with extra-scoring a threat.

While Central America offered little to test the young but already battle-hardened Spanish side, the manner in which the Reds tore through Costa Rica’s defensive lines with movement and quick exchanges sent a warning to the rest of the teams in Qatar.

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Coach Luis Enrique and his players went into their opening Group E match trying to lower expectations, saying Costa Rica is known for its tenacious defence.

But just over half an hour into the match at Al Thumama Stadium, Costa Rica was already stunned and lost 3-0 after goals from Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio and a Ferran Torres penalty.

Luis Enrique has given some of his first-choice players a break in the second half ahead of their next match on Sunday against Germany, who will be desperate for a win after their shock defeat by Japan earlier in the day.

Unfortunately for the Costa Rica, the changes did nothing to slow Spain’s pace with substitute Álvaro Morata – who had been removed from the starting line-up by Marco Asensio – smashing home a powerful shot from the 18-year-old Javi before scoring himself in injury time.

Torres’ second goal early in the second half and another substitute goal, Carlos Soler’s, kept Spain out of sight as they achieved their biggest ever World Cup win.

Several members of Spain’s youth squad – their team is the third youngest in Qatar – already proved their abilities last year when they were knocked out in the European Championships in the semi-finals on penalties.

The addition of Javi, who at 18 is the youngest player to appear for the national team in a World Cup, and others such as his Barcelona teammate Ansu Fati, suggests Luis Enrique is building a new European force.

Olmos, who got the goals pouring in, dismissed suggestions the result reflected Costa Rica’s lack of competitiveness that offered many veterans in previous campaigns.

I don’t think it has to do with Costa Rica being bad. “It was about our team being strong,” Olmos told reporters.

“I think the win was what we deserved. We deserved the win after we took the game to them. I think our team is strong and that is the path we have to take. It was a confidence boost for sure.”

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