LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque predicted Diego Costa would be a key performer for Spain in coming years after the Brazil-born forward ended his long wait for an international goal on Sunday.
Costa s 69th-minute strike in a 4-0 win away to Luxembourg in Euro 2016 qualification Group C was his first goal for La Roja on his seventh appearance and broke a duck lasting more than 500 minutes.
His lack of goals for the European champions was all the more perplexing as he has been on electric form for new club Chelsea with nine goals in as many matches this term.
We were all suffering and we were all pleased for Diego Costa because he has worked hard, Del Bosque said after watching his side bounce back from Thursday s surprise 2-1 defeat in Slovakia.
Now we need to look forward knowing that he will be an important player for us, he added.
At halftime I told him to be calm. We all noticed he was a bit nervous, dissatisfied, as he wasn t finding a way through.
But when a player has so much desire he will always get there in the end.
Costa s goal came when he controlled a pass from Sergio Busquets in the penalty area, turned and lashed the ball past Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert.
He was mobbed by his team mates and told reporters the goal drought had been a painful experience.
There was more good news for Del Bosque as Paco Alcacer, Costa s partner in attack, was also on target, the Valencia forward s third goal on his fourth appearance for the national side.
I am pleased, on a personal level and for the group because we won and that was the crucial thing, Alcacer said.
If I am here it is because I am doing things well for my club, added the 21-year-old.
Diego is a great player and it was a shame he wasn t scoring. I tried to lift him as best I could.
Spain s victory put them on six points from three matches, three behind group leaders Slovakia who won 3-1 in Belarus.
Ukraine also have six points after they secured a 1-0 success at home to Macedonia and Belarus and Luxembourg have a point each.
Spain s next outing is against Belarus in Huelva on Nov. 15.
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