Ghana's No. 1

Teenager Gavi stars as Spain hammer Costa Rica

Published on: 23 November 2022

Dani Olmo opened the scoring against Costa Rica with what was Spain's 100th goal at a World Cup

Gavi announced himself on the global stage with a brilliant volley as Spain produced a sparkling passing performance to outclass Costa Rica and start their World Cup in sensational style.

Ferran Torres scored twice in what was a stroll from start to finish for the 2010 champions.

But the pick of their seven goals was Gavi's outstanding volleyed finish, with the Barcelona teenager using the outside of his foot to steer a dropping ball home via the post and become the youngest World Cup goalscorer since Pele.

This has been a tournament full of surprises, with Spain's Group E rivals Germany the latest victims with their late defeat by Japan earlier on Wednesday, but there was never a hint of another shock happening here.

La Roja were completely dominant from the start, with Costa Rica unable to live with their pace, movement and precision when they came forward.

The Euro 2020 semi-finalists went close twice in the first 10 minutes, with Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio both firing wide, but they did not have to wait long to take the lead.

Olmo had work to do to when he met Gavi's delicate chipped pass into the area, but he used his strength to hold off Oscar Duarte then span into space to expertly slot past the onrushing Keylor Navas.

It was an ominous start for Costa Rica and things quickly got worse for the 2014 quarter-finalists, who were the last team to qualify for Qatar.

Again Spain advanced up the middle of the pitch unopposed, before the ball was spread left to Jordi Alba and his driven cross was met powerfully by Asensio - although Navas should have done far better with his attempted save.

Victory was sealed just after the half-hour mark, when Torres sent Navas the wrong way from the spot after Duarte had hacked at Alba in the box.

But there was more misery to come for Costa Rica after the break, with Spain still hungry for goals.

Torres capitalised on more poor defending to make it 4-0, collecting a loose ball after bursting into the box and then calmly firing home.

Gavi's superb strike added gloss to an already glittering display, with the 18-year-old finding a finish to match his impressive performance after meeting a cross from substitute Alvaro Morata.

Another substitute, Carlos Soler, made it six after Navas failed to deal with a cross, and Morata rounded off the scoring in injury time after playing a one-two with Olmo.

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Spain's youngsters produce dazzling display

Gavi is the youngest man to play for Spain at a World Cup and his goal made him the youngest goalscorer at a finals since Brazilian Pele in 1958.

The way he took it was worthy of the legend mentioned in that statistic, and capped a display which was mature beyond his years.

He was not the only young Spanish player to dazzle either, with 19-year-old Pedri also enjoying an outstanding evening in midfield.

Costa Rica were hugely disappointing but also barely allowed a kick, managing only 231 passes to 1,043 from Spain, while failing to register a single effort at goal.

Spain had lost their opening matches at the past three World Cups, including in 2010 when they went on to win the tournament.

This time, they could not have made a more emphatic start, and will be in confident mood when they face Germany in their next game, knowing another win would all but eliminate their great European rivals.

Player of the match

F TorresFerran Torres

with an average of 8.05

    SpainSpainSpainCosta RicaCosta RicaCosta Rica

SpainAvgSquad number11Player nameF TorresAverage rating


Squad number9Player nameGaviAverage rating


Squad number26Player namePedriAverage rating


Squad number21Player nameOlmoAverage rating


Squad number24Player nameLaporteAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameSolerAverage rating


Squad number12Player nameNico WilliamsAverage rating


Squad number18Player nameAlbaAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameAsensioAverage rating


Squad number16Player nameRodriAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameMorataAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameKokeAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameBusquetsAverage rating


Squad number2Player nameAzpilicuetaAverage rating


Squad number14Player nameBaldeAverage rating


Squad number23Player nameSimónAverage rating


Costa RicaAvgSquad number9Player nameBennetteAverage rating


Squad number1Player nameNavasAverage rating


Squad number12Player nameCampbellAverage rating


Squad number20Player nameAguileraAverage rating


Squad number10Player nameRuizAverage rating


Squad number8Player nameOviedoAverage rating


Squad number16Player nameMartínezAverage rating


Squad number5Player nameBorgesAverage rating


Squad number4Player nameFullerAverage rating


Squad number15Player nameCalvoAverage rating


Squad number19Player nameWastonAverage rating


Squad number6Player nameDuarteAverage rating


Squad number17Player nameTejedaAverage rating


Squad number26Player nameZamoraAverage rating


Squad number22Player nameMatarritaAverage rating


Squad number7Player nameContrerasAverage rating


    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text


Formation 4-3-3

23Simón2Azpilicueta16Rodri24Laporte18Alba9Gavi5Busquets26Pedri11F Torres10Asensio21Olmo

    23Simón2Azpilicueta16Rodri24Laporte18AlbaSubstituted forBaldeat 64'minutes9Gavi5BusquetsSubstituted forKokeat 64'minutes26PedriSubstituted forSolerat 57'minutes11F TorresSubstituted forMorataat 57'minutes10AsensioSubstituted forWilliams Arthuerat 69'minutes21Olmo


    1Sánchez3García4P Torres6Llorente7Morata8Koke12Williams Arthuer13Raya14Balde15Guillamón17Pino19Soler20Carvajal22Sarabia25Ansu Fati

Costa Rica

Formation 4-4-2


    1Navas16MartínezSubstituted forWastonat 45'minutes6Duarte15CalvoBooked at 68mins8OviedoSubstituted forMatarritaat 82'minutes4Fuller5BorgesSubstituted forAguileraat 72'minutes17Tejeda9BennetteSubstituted forRuizat 61'minutes12CampbellBooked at 90mins7ContrerasSubstituted forZamoraat 61'minutes



Referee:Mohammed Abdulla HassanAttendance:40,013Match StatsHome TeamSpainAway TeamCosta RicaPossessionHome82%Away18%ShotsHome17Away0Shots on TargetHome8Away0CornersHome5Away0FoulsHome8Away12Live Text Post update

Match ends, Spain 7, Costa Rica 0.

90'+9'Full Time

Second Half ends, Spain 7, Costa Rica 0.

90'+8'Post update

Attempt blocked. Carlos Soler (Spain) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is blocked.


Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+7'Post update

Alejandro Balde (Spain) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90'+7'Post update

Foul by Joel Campbell (Costa Rica).

90'+6'Post update

Attempt missed. Carlos Soler (Spain) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gavi.

90'+4'Post update

Gavi (Spain) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Brandon Aguilera (Costa Rica).


Goal! Spain 7, Costa Rica 0. Álvaro Morata (Spain) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dani Olmo.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Spain).

90'+1'Post update

Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Goal! Spain 6, Costa Rica 0. Carlos Soler (Spain) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

87'Post update

Foul by Aymeric Laporte (Spain).

87'Post update

Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86'Post update

Gavi (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86'Post update

Foul by Brandon Aguilera (Costa Rica).

82'Post update

Hand ball by César Azpilicueta (Spain).


Substitution, Costa Rica. Ronald Matarrita replaces Bryan Oviedo.

81'Post update

Offside, Spain. Koke tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

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