SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Diego Costa's reception on his return to his native Brazil was as expected, although Spain's humiliating 5-1 loss to the Netherlands at the World Cup was not.
The Brazilian-born striker responded to the jeers and insults from local fans at the Arena Fonte Nova on Friday by setting up Spain's opening goal of the tournament.
It was all downhill from there as the Dutch blew Spain away on the counterattack, with the Brazilian-born, Spanish national looking up at the scoreboard in disbelief with every goal conceded.
"On one hand I'm very happy for my debut but then, on the other hand, there is disappointment," Costa said. "You have to keep your head up high and rebound from it."
Costa won a penalty in the 26th-minute that Xabi Alonso converted a minute later to give Spain its lone bright moment of the Group B opener, a rematch of the 2010 final won by Spain.
But Costa was largely ineffective beyond that, his physical and gritty play unable to lift Spain, which came unstuck after Robin van Persie equalized just before halftime.
After the restart, Arjen Robben scored two goals, Van Persie added a second and Stefan de Vrij another as the Dutch dealt Spain its greatest competitive defeat since 1950.