After the giant-killings came the deluge.
Spain took no chances as they took seven of their chances against Costa Rica in Doha's Al Thumama Stadium.
Having seized hold of the match with a goal inside a dozen minutes La Roja made sure not to let go.
By the half-hour they were 3-0 up with New Zealand's playoff conquerors reduced to trying to keep the score down.
That they failed to do, Spain adding another four in the second half.
After defeating Australia 4-1 on Tuesday French striker Ousmane Dembele had cautioned: "In modern football there's no small teams. If you turn down the intensity, you're in trouble."
It was a lesson Argentina had failed to heed earlier that day after leading against Saudi Arabia, and one Germany spurned after leading against Japan on Wednesday.
The impact of the tournament's second seismic shock was still reverberating when Spain kicked off a few miles away and barely than an hour later, and they were in no mood to permit a third shock.
The seven-goal victory was not even flattering such was Spain's superiority, Costa Rica failing to manage either a shot or a corner.
"When things go your way like this, soccer becomes wonderful," Spanish coach Luis Enrique said. "We played exceptionally well with and without the ball."
It was not so wonderful for his Costa Rica counterpart Luis Fernando Suarez.
"I'm really worried that my team can't come to terms with this terrible result," he said.
"I have to work with this result and think very carefully about what I say to my players to lift their spirits."
Despite having to rejig due to illness and injury Spain took command from the start, dominating possession and pulling so many holes in Costa Rica's cover the opening goal was no surprise.
Dani Olmo scored it in the 11th minute from a neat pass by Gavi, the forward turning smartly before lifting a shot over Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Ten minutes later Sergio Busquets, the only survivor from the winning 2010 team, swept a pass out to Jordi Alba. His cross was met by a Marco Asensio shot Paris SG and former Real Madrid keeper Navas should have kept out.
A further ten minutes on Oscar Duarte clipped the the heel of Alba and Ferran Torres made it 3-0 from the spot.
That was game over, a Spanish defence featuring Manchester City midfielder Rodri out of position having never been tested.
Torres scrambled a 54th-minute fourth from close range before Gavi volleyed a spectacular 75th-minute fifth from Alvaro Morata's cross.
That made him the youngest goalscorer at the World Cup since Pele in the 1958 final.
As added time approached Soler drove in after Navas failed to hold Nico Williams' teasing cross. Then Morata played a one-two with Olmo before tucking in the seventh.
It was the first time Spain had scored seven goals in a World Cup match, and was achieved with the first starting XI featuring two teenagers (18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri) by any team since 1962.
It was also an ominous performance for a German side needing to gain a result when the teams meet on Sunday.
Australian Associated Press
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