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Diego Costa fails to quell nerves in Spain debut

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 6, 2014 at 1:12 am •  Published: March 6, 2014

MADRID (AP) — Overcome by nerves before his Spain debut, Diego Costa did little to shake them with his performance in Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Italy.

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.

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