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HomeCosta RicaCosta Rica vs Spain World Cup Match: How bad was it?

Costa Rica vs Spain World Cup Match: How bad was it?

Costa Rica got their World Cup campaign off to the worst possible start, as they suffered their heaviest-ever defeat at a World Cup, going down 7-0 to Spain at the Al Thumama Stadium. In what was one of the darkest days in Costa Rican football.

In team news, the line-up was the expected one except for the inclusion of Keysher Fuller at right midfield over Gerson Torres.

Spain could of taken the lead after just 4 minutes when Dani Olmo volleyed just wide of Keylor Navas’s goal. Then another 4 minutes later, Marco Asensio shot just wide as the Los Ticos goal was starting to lead a charmed life.

The goal finally did come on the 10th minute after some exquisite passing play from the Spanish saw Olmo turn and dink the ball over Navas.

The lead was doubled on the 20th minute when Asensio was given the space of Qatar to emphatically sweep home from a Jordi Alba cross. By his high standard, Keylor Navas would be extremely disappointed not to have kept it out.

Things went from bad to worse for Los Ticos when Spain was awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark; after a lazy challenge on Alba by Óscar Duarte. Ferran Torres dispatched the resulting spot-kick sending Navas the wrong way. 

A horror of a half for La Sele, completely dominated by Spain, highlighted by the fact they completed 537 successful passes, the most recorded in a half of World Cup football.

8 minutes after half-time, Spain got a fourth after a horror mix-up at the back allowed Torres to sweep the ball home.

With 15 minutes to go, Gavi scored the goal of the match, a sensational volley from Álvaro Morata’s cross. The scoring didn’t stop there, as Carlos Soler slotted home from a sloppy Navas parry. And moments later, Morata slotted home a seventh. 

Los Ticos didn’t just lose by seven goals but were also the first nation since the 1990 World Cup not to register a single shot on target.

There is no shame in losing a game of football, but the meek and sluggish manner in which Los Ticos lost against Spain was unforgivable, a disaster class from start to finish in every department. There was no creativity going forward and an utter shambles defensively; they didn’t even lay a glove on the Spaniards. 

Here are my player’s ratings

1) Keylor Navas (C)- 2/10

4) Keysher Fuller- 1/10

6) Óscar Duarte- 1/10

15) Francisco Calvo- 2.5/10

8) Bryan Oviedo- 2.5/10

17) Yeltsin Tejeda- 2/10

5) Celso Borges- 4/10

16) Carlos Martínez- 3/10

12) Joel Campbell- 3/10

9) Jewison Bennette- 5/10 (MOTM)

7) Anthony Contreras- 3/10


19) Kendall Waston (for Carlos Martínez 46th minute)- 3.5/10

26) Álvaro Zamora (for Jewison Bennette 60th minute)- 3/10

10) Bryan Ruiz (for Anthony Contreras 60th minute)- 2.5/10

20) Brandon Aguilera (for Celso Borges 71st minute)- N/A

22) Rónald Matarrita (for Bryan Oviedo 80th minute)- N/A


Luis Fernando Suárez- 1/10– Horrific line-up with 2 right-backs, set up far too deep and negative, and was rightly punished by a clinical Spanish side. Straight from the kick-off, the writing was on the wall. 

The Tico players will have to put this crushing defeat to one side, as they have a crunch match against Japan on Sunday, with the knowledge that a defeat would see them eliminated from the competition. 

Kick-off is at 4 am UTC at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

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