Spain Dominates First Half to Lead Costa Rica 3-0

Spain Dominates First Half to Lead Costa Rica 3-0 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Spain opened their World Cup run like clockwork– play 10 minutes, score a goal … play 10 minutes, score another goal — leaving Costa Rica defenseless as they head into the halftime break down 3-0.

This dominant first-half performance started in the midfield with 18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri making history as the first pair of teenagers to start for a European team in the World Cup since Bulgaria in 1962. Pedri, who turns 20 on Friday, put pressure on the Costa Rican defense early with crosses in the first 10 minutes to teammates Dani Olmo and Marco Asensio, but both shots went wide.

The two made up for it minutes later, starting with Olmo who gained an inside position and corralled a high pass from Gavi. Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas was slow on the reaction, giving Olmo plenty of time to turn and poke the ball into the net to give Spain a 1-0 lead.

The Spaniards produced more of the same 10 minutes later when Jordi Alba crossed the ball to a streaking Asensio who snuck the ball past Navas with one clean strike.

No less than 10 minutes later, Ferran Torres stepped up for a penalty kick to put Spain up 3-0.

Not surprisingly Spain has dominated possession, controlling the ball 85% of the time. They’ll look to maintain this momentum in the second half and avoid the fate of fellow Group E favorite — Germany, who lost to Japan earlier today on two late-game goals.