Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in their first opening World Cup win since 2006, marking the perfect start to a tough-looking Group E for coach Luis Enrique.
With just 11 minutes into the game, Spain opened the floodgates of goals with Dani Olmo, finishing a move started by Pedri and marking Spain’s 100th World Cup goal.
Enrique’s men applied constant pressure on Los Ticos’ penalty area and Asensio slotted past a stricken Keylor Navas before Ferran Torres tucked away his penalty, rounding off an outrageously dominant first half.
Perpetual second-half pressure paid dividends once again, as Torres added to the Central Americans’ misery by grabbing his brace from six yards after chaos in the box.
Enrique may have seen this tournament as a chance to unleash a new era of Spanish football, with 20 of his 26-player squad making their first World Cup appearances, and as Gavi made it five with a sumptuous volley you could sense Spanish belief reverberating across the stands. The Barcelona youngster wasn’t overshadowed by the excellent performance of his midfield teammate Pedri, as he became the youngest goalscorer in this tournament since Pele in 1958.
Substitutes Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata added the cherry on top of an excellent performance with a pair of composed finishes in a torturous eight minutes of added-time for the powerless Los Ticos, who saw their winless World Cup streak stretched to seven.
Earlier, Japan pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Germany in the other game in Group E. Japan scored two late goals to come from behind and stun Germany with a 2-1 win in their World Cup Group E opener on Wednesday.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan gave Germany the lead with a penalty on 33 minutes at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, and forward Kai Havertz had the ball in the back of the net just ahead of half-time but the goal was ruled out for offside.
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However, Japan hit back with goals from striker Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano in the final 15 minutes to claim their first ever win over Germany and cause an early tournament upset.
The shock result was a repeat of their 2018 World Cup nightmare when, as defending champions, they lost their opener to Mexico and, after another defeat by South Korea, were condemned to a surprise group-stage exit.
Germany players placed their hands over their mouths during their prematch team photo, while the country’s interior minister Nancy Faeser sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino wearing the “OneLove” armband as FIFA’s threat of sanctions over protest continued.
Hansi Flick’s side enjoyed early dominance and were rewarded when Joshua Kimmich picked out David Raum in acres of space in the box and goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda clumsily brought him down as he turned, with Gundogan dispatching the penalty in the 33rd minute.
There was initially little change to the pattern in the second half as Jamal Musiala shot over after a penetrating run and Gundogan clipped a post.