No alarm for La Roja this time. Beaten by Switzerland in 2010 (1-0), thrashed by the Netherlands in 2014 (5-2) and forced to draw with Portugal four years later (3-3), Spain used to start their World Cup with a purr. This Wednesday, she turned the Costa Ricans into little kittens (7-0), doomed to chase a ball they barely touched. That seriously worries Germany. Mannschaft has been overthrown by the eternal Japanese surprise (1-2) and will find La Roja on Sunday for an important duel.
While Hansi Flick’s group will already be under pressure, the 2010 world champions will approach the meeting wrapped in promises woven against Costa Rica. Switching to management mode at the end of the first period, Luis Enrique’s men showed a premium version of Spain. One who confiscates the ball without falling into infertility. Under the leadership of the excellent Pedri, the Iberians scored three goals in half an hour of the game, and from the 11th minute, the Seleccion scored its 100th goal in the history of the World Cup. Dani Olmo beautifully dribbled past his defender with a corner check before passing the ball to Keylor Navas. The Parisian goalkeeper did not appear in official matches for five months. He did not have a warm hand for his return.
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His hands were really too soft to deflect Marco Asensio’s shot from the edge of the penalty area (2-0, 21st) enough. The action of this second goal symbolized the balance of power in the game. Tikos got together but was late for every ball, disorientated by the Iberian waterfront. In the first half, Aymeric Laporte and his teammates made 537 passes (1043 passes at the end of the match and 81.8% of possession!), thus breaking the record set by Germany … this Wednesday against Japan (422).
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Center Asensio in a breakthrough Jordi Alba converted a penalty kick converted by Ferran Torres in the 31st minute. The Barça winger increased the lead after the break (4-0, 54th), emulating his clubmate Gavi, the author of a silky volley (5-0, 74th). Thus, they proved Spain’s ability to be effective (8 shots on target), despite the absence of the number 9 before the entry on the hour mark by Alvaro Morata, the author of the last pawn (90 + 3).
Replaced by Carlos Soler, the penultimate scorer (90th), young Pedri (19) left during the same wave of substitutions. The Barcelona midfielder starts the tournament on the same footing as his amazing Euro 2021. With players like him able to keep the skin, distribute it and get into the right places, La Roja provides control of the ball in large proportions. Not surprising, of course, but very useful for saving money, and the competition promises increased extra time and its share of cramps and injuries. Luis Enrique also knew how to indulge in momentum and offered time to inexperienced players.
The perfect Spanish counterpart has yet to be seen in light of the weak tribulations offered by an anesthetized Costa Rica. However, the Tycos went on an undefeated streak of four games. They never worried about their then executioners in terms of heat and physics, where they seem to take Sergio Busquets and others. Having emerged victorious from the group of death in 2014, the South Americans are in danger of not repeating the feat after this difficult first round.