JORGE RUEDA Associated Press Rodrigo Moreno scored twice and Koke and Isco added the other goals as Spain beat Costa Rica 4-1 on Sunday to confirm its status as one of the early favorites at the Under-20 World Cup.

Rodrigo Moreno scored in the 14th minute of the opening Group C game and made it 2-0 in the 48th.

John Ruiz pulled one back for Costa Rica in the 66th, before Koke scored in the 81st and Isco netted a penalty in second-half stoppage time.

Midfielder Sergio Canales, who has moved on loan to Valencia from Real Madrid, missed the match with a leg injury.

Spain faces Ecuador in its next match on Wednesday while group rivals Australia plays Costa Rica on the same day.

Rodrigo put Spain ahead after taking possession near midfield and scoring inside the near post behind 'keeper Mauricio Vargas.

Rodrigo's second was a poached effort in front of the net, taking advantage of confused Costa Rica defending.

Costa Rica, which looked out-manned at times, cut the lead to 2-1 through Ruiz. The winger took a through pass before beating goalkeeper Aitor inside the near post from 15 meters (yards).

The Central Americans suddenly had several chances with the Spaniards looking short of breath in Manizales, which is at 2,150 meters (7,100 feet).

Costa Rica's Juan Golobio hit the crossbar in the 74th with a blistering shot that would have equalized. Spain was saved a few minutes later when a defender cleared the ball off the line.

Koke scored from a 15-meter (yard) shot to snuff out Costa Rica's hopes, and Isco later converted a spot kick.