Ferran Torres scored twice for the 2010 world champions and, along with five other strikers, made it a goal-scoring masterclass. It was a completely one-sided game with Costa Rica not registering a single attempt on goal.
Avoiding the fate of giants Argentina and group rivals Germany, who previously lost 1-2 to Japan, Luis Enrique’s fanatical side shone in Doha, dominating possession and mercilessly seizing their chances.
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In addition to Torres, who scored twice, Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata were also emphatically on the scoresheet of the Euro 2020 semi-finalists.
In the past, 2010 World Cup winners have paid the price for debauchery, but all three forwards selected by Luis Enrique scored in the first half to repay his faith in them.
The coach placed Asensio on false nine, flanked by Olmo and Torres, starting with Morata and Ansu Fati on the bench.
The coach opted to use Manchester City midfielder Rodri Hernandez in central defense along with club-mate Aymeric Laporte, correctly anticipating his team monopolizing the ball.
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It took just 11 minutes for La Roja to open the scoring, with Gavi putting a pass forward for Olmo to receive in the area and the RB Leipzig winger taking a sublime touch to turn and another to gently pass the ball past Keylor iron navas.
Costa Rica, who were a surprise package at the 2014 World Cup, beating Italy and Uruguay and drawing with England to top their group, were again cut apart for the second goal 10 minutes later.
Jordi Alba’s low-drilled cross was rammed past his former team-mate Navas by Real Madrid striker Asensio, who may have done more to keep him out.
Torres stroked home from the penalty spot after Oscar Duarte fouled Alba – a soft decision on a tough night for Los Ticos, who were never in the game and failed to score a shot on target.
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Barcelona striker Torres took advantage of more slack defense to blast the fourth past Navas early in the second half.
Luis Enrique was able to take off the effervescent Pedri and Torres before the hour mark to give them a rest for Sunday’s game against Germany, and gave teenage Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde his debut.
The 19-year-old roared onto the pitch in the run-up to Spain’s fifth goal, with substitute Morata passing Gavi to drill home with confidence.
At 18 years and 110 days old, Gavi, the Kopa Trophy winner, became the third youngest goalscorer in a World Cup, after Mexico’s Manuel Rosas and record holder Pele.
Soler and Morata then got red-handed with strikes in stoppage time to add further misery to Costa Rica and help Spain flex their muscles in a perfect opening match in Qatar.
With the win, Spain jumped to the top of the standings by three points, ahead of Japan on goal difference. On Monday they will face an ‘injured’ German side.
(With input from agencies)