Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Costa was subbed off.
It was surprising that Vicente del Bosque opted to start Diego Costa against the Netherlands.
He is usually more cautious and opts for Cesc Fabregas in a false-nine role, or the tried-and-trusted (yes, really) Fernando Torres.
But the Atletico Madrid man has been the form striker this season out of those who hold a Spanish passport, and he was chosen to lead the line.
Costa won Spain a penalty, the validity of which split opinion.
But there's no doubting that his excellent movement caused the Netherlands a problem.
However, his other gameplay was lacking.
Costa dallied once, after a through ball by Xavi, and the Netherlands defence recovered to block him off.
He eventually made way for Torres, with the only other bit of bother he caused the Netherlands back line a half-hearted head-butt.
When he regains more fitness, he might be deadly again. But will Spain still be in the tournament?