Spain vs Costa Rica LIVE: World Cup 2022 result and final score as Ferran Torres hits double

Spain‘s young squad got off to a high-scoring start at the World Cup, routing Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday. Not long after Japan surprised Germany 2-1 in the other Group E match, Spain avoided any chance of an upset with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres scoring a goal each in the first 31 minutes. Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata added to the lead in the second half.

Olmo’s goal was the 100th at World Cups for Spain, which became the sixth nation to score more than 100 times in the tournament. It was the first time Spain has scored seven goals in a World Cup match. With 18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri starting, Spain became the first European nation with two teenagers in the starting lineup of a World Cup match in 60 years, according to statistics platform Opta. Gavi then became the youngest goal scorer at the World Cup since Pelé in the 1958 final, also according to Opta. Gavi and Pedri were among the many youngsters picked by Spain coach Luis Enrique in a revamped squad in Qatar — the third-youngest team among the 32 nations, after the United States and Ghana.

The young duo helped Spain control the pace of the match from the start at Al Thumama Stadium. Costa Rica looked overwhelmed from the start in its third straight World Cup campaign. It came to Qatar hoping to repeat its surprise run to the quarterfinals in 2014 in Brazil, and avoid a repeat of its participation four years ago in Russia, when it was eliminated in the group stage after not winning any matches.

Spain, which didn’t get past the round of 16 in Russia, is trying to break through with a major title after making it to the final of the Nations League and the semifinals of last year’s European Championship. This year the team also qualified for the Final Four of the Nations League for a second straight time. Spain‘s last major triumph came at Euro 2012, two years after it won its lone World Cup title in South Africa. Only five countries have scored more goals than Spain at the World Cup — Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Italy and France.

Relive all the action with our live blog below and follow Belgium vs Canada here.

Spain vs Costa Rica latest updates

  • Spain destroy Costa Rica in World Cup opener as sizzling La Roja take command of Group E

  • Follow our live coverage of Belgium vs Canada

  • 92’ - GOAL! Morata joins the party with stoppage time strike (ESP 7-0 CRC)

  • 90’ - GOAL! Soler hits sixth in thumping victory for rampant Spain (ESP 6-0 CRC)

  • 74’ - GOAL! Gavi hits stunning volley to make it five (ESP 5-0 CRC)

  • 54’ - GOAL! Torres hits a double after sloppy defending from Costa Rica (ESP 4-0 CRC)

  • 31’ GOAL! Torres adds a third from the spot (ESP 3-0 CRC)

  • 21’ GOAL! Asensio doubles Spain’s lead with fine finish into corner (ESP 2-0 CRC)

  • 11’ GOAL! Olmo gives Spain the lead after Gavi’s pass (ESP 1-0 CRC)

  • 8’ - Asensio shoots just wide after more good work from Pedri (ESP 0-0 CRC)

  • 5’ - Spain go close after Pedri picks out Olmo at the back post with a delightful pass (ESP 0-0 CRC)

Spain 7 - 0 Costa Rica

Belgium vs Canada

18:24 , Michael Jones

The only international fixture between Belgium and Canada was a friendly in Ottawa in June 1989 which the visitors won 2-0.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Spain score seven in World Cup annihilation of dismal Costa Rica

18:19 , Michael Jones

Spain put on an exhibition, that is also an ominous display of their quality.

It might be far too early to call this 7-0 rout a victory of champions, but it’s fair to say it was the most complete and convincing team performance of this World Cup 2022 so far. Spain have announced themselves, in a manner similar to the 4-1 evisceration over Russia that sparked their Euro 2008 win.

The only pity was that there were so few people here to see it, Spain’s grand showcase also highlighting one of the less serious but still significant problems of this World Cup. There was never any hint, however, that Luis Enrique’s team would suffer from one of the growing football issues of this World Cup.

Far from arriving undercooked - as group rivals Germany, Argentina and other big sides look - Spain have the sense of a team coming together.

And, yes, it was only Costa Rica. But Pedri is only 19. Gavi is only 18.

Spain score seven in World Cup annihilation of dismal Costa Rica

Leah Williamson interview: ‘Football is everyone’s game - the Qatar World Cup is wrong’

18:15 , Michael Jones

If leadership in football has looked short in recent days, Leah Williamson can help to provide an antidote. The England captain says the staging of the men’s World Cup in Qatar is “wrong” but wants to use her voice to highlight the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in the host country, while promoting messages of inclusion and equality closer to home.

Armbands, and England’s decision not to follow through with their ‘OneLove’ stance following pressure from Fifa, has been the hot topic of the opening days of the World Cup. In July, Williamson proudly wore her rainbow armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights as the Lionesses won the Euros at Wembley. It was a victory that stood for more than football, celebrated in an environment that was inclusive and diverse.

“I think one of the biggest compliments I’ve had since the Euros is someone went to one of our games when they were afraid to go to a men’s game,” Williamson tells The Indepdendent. “I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like it wasn’t their game. We wanted to show that supporting England is an open invitation to be exactly who you want to be, because that’s what we do too.”

Leah Williamson interview: ‘Football is everyone’s game - this World Cup is wrong’

‘Best Switzerland national team that has ever existed’ ready for World Cup

18:10 , Michael Jones

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin believes his squad is well equipped to make history as they prepare for their opening match of the 2022 World Cup against Cameroon in Group G on Thursday.

The Swiss have not reached the quarter-finals since they hosted the tournament in 1954 but, having emerged undefeated through qualifying, Yakin has urged his side to make the most of what he considers an unprecedented opportunity.

“I think we are the best Switzerland national team that has ever existed – we have fantastic players who play abroad and I am convinced we will perform our best World Cup ever,” said Yakin.

‘Best Switzerland national team that has ever existed’ ready for World Cup

Pedri and Gavi combination marks out Spain’s strength as World Cup challengers

18:06 , Michael Jones

A fired volley wide by Dani Olmo. Another chance over the top of the defence with Ferran Torres in attendance. Marco Asensio scuffing wide and then Olmo, again, finally beating the ‘keeper after a magical first touch over the final centre-back.

This was all Spain, all one-way football and all through the incredibly talented creative duo of Gavi and Pedri in midfield. And all inside the opening 10 minutes, too.

The young Barcelona pair were utterly dominant and relentless in the first half-hour of the match, creating openings and shooting chances at will and contributing in very direct ways to Luis Enrique’s side going three goals up in that time.

Above perhaps all other games so far at the World Cup 2022, this scoreline, this performance, will be discounted by the quality - or lack thereof - of opposition. Costa Rica offered nothing: no aggression high upfield, no capacity to get close in midfield and nowhere near enough of a compact defence to stop the red waves coming. The eventual 7-0 scoreline was justice, entirely.

And yet, even if this was a glorified training session after Asensio’s finish and Ferran from the spot, it highlighted exactly what Spain will try to do against all opponents, in all situations.

Pedri and Gavi combination marks out Spain’s strength as World Cup challengers

Spain vs Costa Rica player ratings: Gavi and Pedri pull strings in scintillating Qatar World Cup win

18:03 , Michael Jones

Spain began their Qatar World Cup campaign with a mesmerising 7-0 win against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

After Germany’s shock loss to Japan elsewhere in Group E earlier in the day, this game marked a great chance for Luis Enrique’s side to establish themselves as frontrunners in the pool.

And Spain certainly seized the initiative, downing Costa Rica with ease thanks to goals from Dani Olmo, Marcos Asensio, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres – the latter scoring twice.

It was a superb all-round performance from the 2010 champions, who will be incredibly confident ahead of their next group game, against Germany on Sunday.

Here’s how Spain’s players fared against Costa Rica.:

Spain vs Costa Rica player ratings: Gavi and Pedri pull strings in scintillating win

Full-time: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

18:00 , Michael Jones

90+8 mins: A destructive, dominant and delightful display from Spain sees them thrash Costa Rica 7-0 and gives Luis Enrique’s side firm control of Group E.

They move to the top of the table, just ahead of Japan, and will qualify for the last 16 if they defeat Germany at the weekend. Costa Rica have lots of work to do but their next match is against Japan and they’ll believe they can get something out of that game.

Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

17:56 , Michael Jones

90+5 mins: Spain have outdone England tonight. The Three Lions managed six goals in their opening fixture against Iran but even then they conceded twice.

Spain have cruised to seven with Costa Rica not even getting close to a shot on target.

GOAL! Spain 7-0 Costa Rica (Morata, 90+2)⚽️

17:53 , Michael Jones

90+2 mins: Seven!

Alvaro Morata hovers around the front edge of the penalty area and receives the ball as it gets squared across from the right. He lays it off to Dani Olmo before spinning away from the nearest centre-back and getting the ball passed back to him.

It’s a lovely one-two and Morata caps off the move with a fine finish into the bottom left corner.

Spain 6-0 Costa Rica

17:52 , Michael Jones

90+1 mins: There’s also eight minutes of added time to play. Plenty of time for more goals here.

GOAL! Spain 6-0 Costa Rica (Soler, 90’)⚽️

17:50 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Spain hit six!

Gavi sends it out to Williams on the right wing. He carries the ball into space and curls a teasing low cross into the box. Keylor Navas decides he has to come for the ball but only manages to palm it into the path of Carlos Soler.

Soler takes a touch and then guides a tap-in over the line.

Belgium vs Canada

17:48 , Michael Jones

Coming up after the conclusion of this game is the final match of the day when Belgium take on Canada in Group F.

Team news has just dropped so here’s a look at how they both line-up:

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Timothy Castagne, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi

Canada: Milan Borjan, Richie Laryea, Kamal Miller, Steven Vitoria, Alistair Johnston, Alphonso Davies, Stephen Eustaquio, Atiba Hutchinson, Tajon Buchanan, Junior Hoilett, Jonathan David

Spain 5-0 Costa Rica

17:46 , Michael Jones

83 mins: Superb Spain running riot against Costa Rica.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Spain 5-0 Costa Rica

17:42 , Michael Jones

80 mins: 10 minutes plus how ever long the officials decide to add on for stoppage time to play.

Rodri slides a through ball up to Koke who spins before playing Morata into the right side of the box. The forward has a shy at goal but doesn’t catch it right and hooks his effort out of play.

Spain 5-0 Costa Rica

17:39 , Michael Jones

77 mins: This has been a training game for Spain. They haven’t been asked any questions and every time they moved forward with any type of quality the end result has been a goal or a shot.

There’s a bit of a barney between Kendall Waston and Gavi in the middle of the pitch and the referee calls both men over for a chat. He tells them to calm it down.

GOAL! Spain 5-0 Costa Rica (Gavi, 74’)⚽️

17:34 , Michael Jones

74 mins: Gavi joins the fun! Balde goes on a driving run through the inside left channel and slips a pass into the box for Alvaro Morata who stays onside. He’s forced over to the left side of the box but holds up the ball before flicking it over to the arriving teenager.

Gavi pops up in the box after a run from deep, he meets the ball on the volley and pokes it onto the inside of the right post where the ball deflects into the back of the net.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:33 , Michael Jones

72 mins: 28-year-old Iñaki Williams Arthuer now replaces Marco Asensio up in the forward line. He’s started out wide on the right with Morata taking the central forward role.

Spain kick forward on the break with Luis Enrique encouraging them forward from the touchline - he certainly wants more goals. However, the attack breaks down on the edge of the box and Costa Rica scramble it clear.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:30 , Michael Jones

69 mins: Spain have scored four or more goals in a World Cup match for just the fourth time having last done so in a 4-0 victory against Ukraine in 2006.

Is this a sign of things to come? The 2010 champions will be eyeing another good run in this tournament after two poor campaigns in 2014 and 2018.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:28 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Spain’s centre-back pair of Aymeric Laporte and Rodri are pushing up to the halfway line with they are in possession. It’s like watching Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at times.

This has been one of the most one-sided affairs of the tournament so far.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:25 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are the two men taken off in order for Balde and Koke to come on. Both men will play crucial roles for Spain’s next match against the Germans - who have to win - so they’re given a rest for the final half an hour or so.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:23 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Alejandro Balde and Koke are ready to come for Spain as well.

This game is now a matter of how many they want to score. With Germany still to come in the group qualification may come down to goal difference so Luis Enrique will be encouraging his players to keep attacking.

Spain 4-0 Costa Rica

17:20 , Michael Jones

57 mins: That fourth goal signals the time for a change from Luis Enrique. Alvaro Morata and Carlos Soler are introduced to replace Ferran Torres and Pedri.

GOAL! Spain 4-0 Costa Rica (Ferran, 54’)⚽️

17:15 , Michael Jones

54 mins: Two for Ferran Torres! Four for Spain! The goals keep on coming.

Gavi makes a run out to the right wing as the ball is sent down the line. He collects it and sends a pass into the box for Torres. Torres weaves away from Duarte before Bryan Oviedo knocks the ball loose.

Keylor Navas comes out to close down the Spaniard but Torres shrugs Oviedo away from the ball, brings it onto his left foot the curls a shot past the goalkeeper on the turn.

Lovely finish.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:14 , Michael Jones

52 mins: The corner ball is played short to Marco Asensio who slides a beautifully weighted pass into the right side of the box. Dani Olmo is first to the loose ball and his cutback is hooked clear by Oscar Duarte.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:12 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Costa Rica are yet to have a shot, in fact I can only remember one instance where they nearly troubled the Spanish back line.

Spain ended the first half with 85% possession and they’re looking to increase that. Cesar Azpilicueta flings a throw in into the box and the ball gets turned behind for a Spanish corner.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:09 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Close! Spain pick up where they left off in the first half and move the ball quickly down the right side of the pitch. Marco Asensio drifts into space on the front edge of the box, close to the ‘D’.

He receives the ball, rolls it onto his left foot then smokes a shot over the crossbar. Perhaps the imminent tackle from Oscar Duarte just made him rush but Asensio isn’t overly pleased with that effort.

Second half: Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:06 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Costa Rica get the ball rolling for the second half against Spain. Carlos Martinez has gone off for the Central American side with Kendall Waston replacing him.

No changes for Spain as of yet.

HT Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

17:02 , Michael Jones

With Gavi and Pedri both starting, Spain are the first European side to name two teenagers in their starting XI for a World Cup match since Bulgaria against England in 1962 (Jechev and Sokolov).

At 18 years and 110 days, Gavi became the youngest player to play for Spain in a major international tournament (World Cup + European Championship) in the history of the national team.

HT Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:58 , Michael Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Half-time: Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:50 , Michael Jones

45+5 mins: Good block! Marco Asensio almost has a second after being slipped into the left side of the box. He shoots from a narrow angle but Oscar Duarte leaps in front of the ball and blocks it with his sprawling body.

That’s the last act of the first half and Spain head into the break three goals up.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:49 , Michael Jones

45+3 mins: Nearly! Spain cut through Costa Rice with two passes. They’re knocking it around the back simply enough before Rodri bypasses the midfield with a through ball up to Gavi.

He collects it on the edge of the box and wants to play in Asensio. The forward is stuck on his heels and Gavi’s pass into the penalty area shoots by him before he can get in space.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:46 , Michael Jones

45 mins: There’s going to be five minutes of stoppage time added on at the end of the first half. Costa Rica need to get into the break, they’re been run off their feet out there at present.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:43 , Michael Jones

42 mins: Costa Rica look tired already. They’ve hardly had any time in possession and have been asked to defend diligently. Asensio makes a run behind the defence and collects the ball as it comes over the top down the right wing.

He’s closed down by a couple of defenders but manages to release the ball as his team mates join him in the final third.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:41 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Costa Rica have finally move to a back five but Spain are utilising short, sharp passes to play around them. They have six men in and around the penalty area as Cesar Azpilicueta brings the ball down the right wing.

Ferran Torres makes a run off the ball into the six-yard area but Azpilicueta’s cross skips over the top of his head and Costa Rica clear the danger.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:37 , Michael Jones

36 mins: Spain have scored three goals in the first half of a World Cup match for only the second time in their history, also doing so against Brazil in 1934.

Jewison Bennette, the young Costa Rican attacker, is trying to drive his team onward. He brings the ball down the left side but runs into trouble and gets dispossessed as there are limited options in the box for him.

Spain 3-0 Costa Rica

16:36 , Michael Jones

33 mins: Spain have had 87% possession and have killed off the game well before half-time. They’re in cruise control now and Luis Enrique will be thinking ahead to the Germany game on Sunday.

GOAL! Spain 3-0 Costa Rica (Ferran, 31’)⚽️

16:32 , Michael Jones

31 mins: Game over. Ferran Torres is up for Spain and calmly sends Keylor Navas diving the wrong way to his right as he slides the ball over to the opposite corner.

Spain are 3-0 to the good and there’s no chance of another upset tonight.

Penalty to Spain!

16:32 , Michael Jones

Spain 2-0 Costa Rica

29 mins: Things are going from bad to worse for Costa Rica. Jordi Alba weaves his way into the penalty area and is clipped but a scrappy attempted tackle from Oscar Duarte.

It’s a soft penalty but the referee points to the spot.

Spain 2-0 Costa Rica

16:30 , Michael Jones

25 mins: Marco Asensio is Spain’s 50th different goalscorer at the World Cup. Costa Rica look incredible shaky in defence now as Spain pass it with seeming ease.

GOAL! Spain 2-0 Costa Rica (Asensio, 21’)⚽️

16:21 , Michael Jones

21 mins: Two for Spain!

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!

Spain 1-0 Costa Rica

16:20 , Michael Jones

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.

GOAL! Spain 1-0 Costa Rica (Olmo, 11’)⚽️

16:15 , Michael Jones

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!

Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:54 , Michael Jones

8 mins: Chance! Spain are getting closer to the opening goal. A lovely move sees them work the ball through the middle of the pitch before finding Pedri in space on the inside left.

He plays a blind pass up to the edge of the box where Marco Asensio meets the ball with a first time left-footed effort that curls mere inches wide of the far post!

Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:27 , Michael Jones

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!

Kick off: Spain 0-0 Costa Rica

16:25 , Michael Jones

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.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

15:41 , Michael Jones

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.

Jordan Pickford hoping England get ‘fair’ treatment from referees

Roy Keane says World Cup teams can do more after Germany’s on-pitch protest: ‘It’s a start’

15:36 , Michael Jones

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.”

‘It’s a start’: Roy Keane says teams can do more after Germany’s on-pitch protest

Spain vs Costa Rica

15:31 , Michael Jones

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?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts at controversial Qatar World Cup

15:11 , Michael Jones

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.

Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts in Qatar

Japan shock Germany with comeback win!

15:06 , Michael Jones

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.

Spain’s unique wonderkid who is ‘better than Iniesta’

15:02 , Michael Jones

Barcelona midfielder Pedri will turn 20 years old two days before Spain face Germany in one of the most anticipated games of the World Cup group stage.

The midfielder could be highly influential against the four-time world champions as both nations are expected to finish in the top two of Group E, the so-called group of death, with Japan and Costa Rica as the underdogs.

Pedri was a key part of Spain’s run to the semi-finals of the European Championship last year and, along with his performances for his club, won both the 2021 Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best player under the age of 21.

Spain’s unique wonderkid Pedri who is ‘better than Iniesta’

Busquets on winning the World Cup

14:57 , Michael Jones

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is competing in his fourth World Cup tournament and won the trophy with Spain in 2010. The 34-year-old also won the 2012 European Championship and is "dreaming" of winning another title in Qatar.

"I’m very happy to be here, regardless of whether it’s my second or fourth World Cup. I won’t make any decisions during or afterwards," said Busquets who put to bed the rumours that this would be his final World Cup for Spain.

"I am here to enjoy it, whatever happens. Obviously I am closer to this being my last World Cup."

Japan lead Germany!

14:53 , Michael Jones

Oh my word. Japan have come from a goal behind to lead Germany 2-1. They’ve never beaten the Germans in competitive football and are on the verge of a historic win.

There’s just the seven minutes of stoppage time to play.

If Japan can hold on and win then they will blow Group E wide open ahead of kick off between Spain and Costa Rica at 4pm.

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

14:51 , Michael Jones

As Lionel Messi and the Argentine squad arrived in Qatar this week, driving through a £220bn infrastructure project built on “modern slavery”, there was unmistakable excitement. The players can’t quite believe the World Cup is suddenly here again. “Another chance” at victory and immortality. It was much the same in the England camp, where the 14 players who have never been to the competition were almost just saying to each other: “It’s the World Cup!”

And one like no other, for reasons far beyond the fact that it is starting in November.

The disrupted calendar has at once made this World Cup one that has suddenly come out of nowhere and yet also weighed over the game for more than a decade. It is a mere week’s preparation that goes back 12 years.

That apparent contradiction appropriately reflects so many conflicts running through this World Cup. There is not a moral conflict, it should be stressed. It is unchallengeable: this World Cup should not be taking place in Qatar.

Sportswashing and spectacle as Qatar’s World Cup of conflicts kicks off

Spain vs Costa Rica confirmed line-ups ahead of World Cup fixture

14:47 , Michael Jones

Spain take on Costa Rica in Group E of the World Cup.

Spain have been disappointing at World Cups since winning the tournament in 2010 but Luis Enrique is leading a bright new generation in Qatar.

Barcelona’s Pedri, 19, and Gavi, 18, are set to start in midfield, with La Roja offering a reminder of their quality when they reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals.

Costa Rica return to the World Cup following their brilliant run to the quarter-finals in 2014. Keylor Navas, Bryan Oviedo and Joel Campbell remain a key part of the team.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Spain vs Costa Rica confirmed line-ups ahead of World Cup fixture

Costa Rica line-up

14:44 , Michael Jones

Costa Rica XI: Navas; Fuller, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Borges; Martinez, Campbell, Bennette; Contreras

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Japan draw level with Germany!

14:39 , Michael Jones

There are 15 minutes plus stoppage time left in the other Group E fixture of the day as Germany take on Japan. The Germans took a slender lead in that one but the Japanese have fought back to level things at 1-1.

This should be a cracking finish and you can follow the action right here:

Germany vs Japan LIVE: World Cup 2022 latest updates

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:37 , Michael Jones

Kick off for this one is at 4pm. Luis Enrique has already named the Spanish starting XI which some pacey attackers in Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo.

They sit either side of experienced striker Marco Asensio who will be able supplied by teenagers Pedri and Gavi.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Spain line-up

14:33 , Michael Jones

Spain XI: Unai; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba, Busquets, Gavi, Pedri; Ferran, Asensio, Olmo

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:30 , Michael Jones

Spain are facing Costa Rica for the fourth time since 2011.

Their three previous head-to-heads have produced 12 goals with an average of four per game.

Spain vs Costa Rica

14:24 , Michael Jones

This is the first encounter between Spain and Costa Rica at the World Cup. In their three previous meetings - all friendlies - Spain are unbeaten against the Central American side with two wins and one draw.

Where to watch Spain vs Costa Rica?

14:20 , Michael Jones

The match will kick off at 4pm GMT on Wednesday 23rd November at the Al Thumama Stadium. It will be shown on ITV 1, with coverage starting at 3.10pm.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

14:15 , Michael Jones

Germany claim Fifa “denied us a voice” after their players covered their mouths in a World Cup statement before their Group E match with Japan.

It is the latest development in the row with the world’s governing body over the “One Love” initiative, with Fifa censoring Germany and other teams in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

The four-time World Cup winners lined up for the photo opportunity on the pitch before the Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium, collectively covering their mouths.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

Spain vs Costa Rica early team news and predicted line-ups

14:07 , Jack Rathborn

Spain have no reported injury concerns following Jose Gaya’s withdrawal. The defence looks settled, with Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres and Jordi Alba at the back, while Sergio Busquets, Gavi and Pedri should start in midfield.

Alvaro Morata will continue as Spain’s number nine, with Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati competing to start alongside him in attack. Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo and Nico Williams are all contenders for a place, though.

Predicted line-ups:

Spain: Simon; Carvajal, Laporte, P Torres, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; F Torres, Morata, Fati

Costa Rica: Navas; C Martinez, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Bennette, G Torres; Borges, Contreras, Campbell

Spain vs Costa Rica

13:58 , Michael Jones

There are two games from the Fifa World Cup happening this afternoon/early evening as Spain and Costa Rica go head-to-head in Group E before Belgium kick off their Group F campaign against Canada in the late match.

Luis Enrique’s Spain face a tricky time of things in a group that also features Germany and Japan but they will put qualification to the knockout stages firmly within reach if they defeat Costa Rica this afternoon.

The Spaniards have a nice mix of youth and experience to call upon which should put them in good stead for the tournament. Costa Rica, meanwhile are hoping to emulate their performance from the 2014 World Cup which saw them reach the quarter-final stage where they lost to the Netherlands in a penalty shootout.

Qatar 2022 has already throw up some surprising results - Saudi Arabia are still celebrating their win over Argentina - and Costa Rica have the chance to cause another upset. So to do Canada who take on Belgium in today’s final fixture.

They qualified top of the Concacaf table ahead of Mexico and the USA but are up against the World no. 2 who hope to better their third placed performance in Russia four years ago.