Madrid — Overcome by nerves before his Spain debut, Diego
Costa did little to shake them with his performance in Wednesday's 1-0 victory
Diego Costa started the friendly at the familiar Vicente
Calderon Stadium, where the Atletico Madrid striker's 27 goals have the Spanish
club competing for league and Champions League silverware.
Pedro Rodriguez scored a second half winner as Spain's
diminutive midfielders — led by David Silva — guided Spain to victory rather
than the brawny, physical Diego Costa up front.
Diego Costa managed a pair of decent scoring chances with a
first-half shot blocked from inside the area before spraying a cross-goal
effort wide of the far post after the break.
But the Brazilian-born striker — a naturalized Spanish
citizen — lacked his usual confidence on touch.
"The first game is not easy," Diego Costa said.
"I'm happy, but I know I can give a lot more. I can bring my qualities
with Atletico to the team."
Diego Costa combined well with Andres Iniesta early on
before seeing his 20th-minute opportunity blocked.
Until spraying a cross-goal shot past goalkeeper Gianluigi
Buffon and the far post in the 80th, Diego Costa watched a number of balls skip
over his feet. Some of his tentative play inside the area looked distant from
the testy, riled-up player who tests opponent's patience while trying to keep
his own temper under control.
"With time I'll gain more confidence, I'll get more
comfortable," Diego Costa said. "I'm very happy to have finally
played for Spain, and to win. The first game is not easy. I'm happy but I know
I can give a lot more."
Del Bosque was encouraged by his new recruit's debut,
although he warned the squad could still change before he decides his team for
the June 12-July 13 tournament in Brazil.
"Diego's integrating into the team and,
little-by-little, he'll get used to playing with the team," Del Bosque
said. "No player can have problems adapting to our style of play."
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