‘I am the leader’ – Luis Enrique looks ahead to World Cup coaching debut
Spain and Costa Rica meet in Group E of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Luis Enrique’s side have been drawn in a potentially tricky group that also features Germany and Japan so three points from this fixture will ease any pressure on the European side.
Since winning the World Cup in 2010, La Roja have underperformed on football’s biggest stage. They crashed out in the group stages when defending the title in 2014 and lost to Russia in a last 16 penalty shootout four years ago. Enrique has gathered a squad of young, attacking talent who will no doubt believe they can take Spain back to their former glory.
This new generation of Spanish players narrowly missed out on a place in the Euro 2020 final last summer after losing to Italy in the semi-finals (through another penalty shootout) but with Barcelona’s Pedri (19), and Gavi (18) set to start in midfield La Roja are well set to shine in Qatar.
Their opponents today are World Cup dark horses Costa Rica. In 2014 they shocked England and Italy to qualify out of the group alongside Uruguay before losing a penalty shoot-out to the Netherlands for a place in the semi-finals. Keylor Navas and Joel Campbell featured in that tournament and remain a key part of the team this time around.
Follow all the action from Qatar with our live blog below:
Spain vs Costa Rica
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GOAL! Spain 2-0 Costa Rica (Asensio, 21’)⚽️
Costa Rica had looked to get further up the pitch but they’ve been undone by a diagonal pass out to Jordi Alba on the left wing. He’s pushed high up the pitch and brings the ball under control before picking out Marco Asensio in the penalty area.
Asensio meets it with a first time effort and guides the ball beautifully into the far bottom corner!
Michael Jones23 November 2022 16:21
Spain 1-0 Costa Rica
15 mins: Spain continue to press their advantage but Costa Rica are sticking to their original shape. The Central American side see a bit of possession inside the Spanish final third but can’t get the ball into the box.
Michael Jones23 November 2022 16:20
GOAL! Spain 1-0 Costa Rica (Olmo, 11’)⚽️
11 mins: Superb from Spain!
They work the ball over to the left wing before a pass comes inside to Dani Olmo. He drops back to collect the ball before sliding it over to Gavi and sprinting into the box.
Gavi flicks the ball over the top and gives it back to Olmo who brings it down with a spin around a defender before a calm and composed side-footed shot nestles it into the back of the net!
Michael Jones23 November 2022 16:15
Spain 0-0 Costa Rica
5 mins: Chance! Spain come close to the opening goal after a beautiful pass from Pedri. He’s given the ball after Spain attack down the left and spots Dani Olmo’s run on the opposite side of the penalty area.
Pedri flicks the ball over to him as Olmo runs in behind Bryan Oviedo but Olmo’s volley goes wide of the far post!
Michael Jones23 November 2022 16:05
Kick off: Spain 0-0 Costa Rica
Spain get the match started against Costa Rica with a long ball over to the right wing. It’s defended easily enough but the Spaniards push high and recover the ball.
Luis Enrique’s side will want to dominate possession tonight.
Michael Jones23 November 2022 16:00
Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees
Jordan Pickford is hoping England get fair treatment from officials after boss Gareth Southgate said he was “worried” that his side had been used as an example during pre-World Cup referee meetings.
England were denied what looked like a clear spot-kick when Harry Maguire was grabbed by Rouzbeh Cheshmi early on in their 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.
The VAR decided not to intervene but later alerted the referee to a tug on a shirt in the England box which resulted in Mehdi Taremi scoring a last-gasp penalty, while a similar offence resulted in a spot-kick in Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Michael Jones23 November 2022 15:41
Roy Keane says World Cup teams can do more after Germany’s on-pitch protest: ‘It’s a start’
Roy Keane responded to the German football team’s apparent protest ahead of their opening World Cup 2022 fixture, saying it’s a “start” but that players can “do more”.
Captained by Manuel Neuer, the Germany players covered their mouths during the team photo to suggest they were being “gagged” by Fifa.
“The most important people are supporters and players, use their voice, wear the armband, stand up,” Keane said in response. “Leadership is about action, go and do it if this is going to drag on. It’s a start, they can do more.”
Michael Jones23 November 2022 15:36
Spain vs Costa Rica
The fans are ready to go. Kick off between Spain and Costa Rica is 30 minutes away. Will this match provide another upset in Group E after Japan defeated Germany earlier today?
Michael Jones23 November 2022 15:31
Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts at controversial Qatar World Cup
Germany fans had waited four years for their team to make a statement at the Qatar World Cup, but they weren’t necessarily thinking of the one that Hansi Flick’s side delivered in their opening game.
While the national team failed to banish the spectre of Russia 2018, where Germany’s World Cup campaign came crashing down in Kazan, the team at least ensured that they addressed a much more pressing issue here.
Four-and-a-half years after a 2-0 defeat by South Korea saw Germany’s catastrophic world title defence end in the group stage – and in shame – the four-time champions went some way to restoring pride before they had kicked a ball against Japan; which was just as well, given their actual kicking of the ball offered little to celebrate.
Michael Jones23 November 2022 15:11
Japan shock Germany with comeback win!
Germany have been defeated by Japan!
Hansi Flick’s side were rocked in the second half but the Japanese who scored twice to earn their first victory ever against the four time World Cup champions.
Japan take all three points and move to the top of Group E. If Spain beat Costa Rica in the next match up Germany could be on the verge of getting knocked out of the World Cup.
Michael Jones23 November 2022 15:06