Valeria del Campo scored an own goal to put Spain ahead, before Aitana Bonmati curled in a second two minutes later.
Esther Gonzalez added a third after a header against the crossbar by Jennifer Hermoso, who then had a penalty saved by Daniela Solera.
Olga Carmona hit the bar and Solera made a number of fine saves to restrict Spain to three goals.
The Spanish team’s dominance was shown in the match stats, as they had 46 attempts at goal, including 12 on target, with Costa Rica, ranked 36th in the world, only having one shot, which went wide.
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Spain also had 80% possession and 22 corners compared with just one from their opponents.
For Spain, looking to advance past the last-16 phase for the first time, it was the perfect start to their Group C campaign after a disrupted build-up to the tournament.
In September, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) claimed 15 members of its national team, unhappy with training methods and match preparation, said they would resign if manager Jorge Vilda did not step down.
The federation backed Vilda and he only then named three of those 15 players – Barcelona’s Mariona Caldentey, Bonmati and Ona Batlle – in the World Cup squad.
Written by: Debby Eselebor
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