United States falls to Costa Rica 2-0 in World Cup qualifier

Sep 03, 2017, 02:33
United States falls to Costa Rica 2-0 in World Cup qualifier

For a team that hadn't yet lost under Bruce Arena since he took over the team last November, and had just beaten Costa Rica in the Gold Cup semifinals, the performance wasn't anywhere near good enough, especially from some key contributors.

Costa Rica shocked the United States with a 2-0 victory in a World Cup qualifying game Friday night on the strength of two goals from Marco Ureña in front of a sold-out crowd of 26,500 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

"It's disappointing to lose at home".

In a game it knew it had to win to stave off pressure after a slow start in the Hexagonal, the US was not sharp enough to top the talented Costa Ricans.

Christian Pulisic has become the focal point of the USMNT attack over the past year. The game will be played at Red Bull Arena, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. "We were probably outplayed in most positions on the field and made some critical errors", Arena said. Costa Rica in the first round defeated the Americans 4-0, after which there were changes in the coaching staff of the "Yankees".

"Their game flows through Bradley and we knew if we focused on [him and Pulisic] they wouldn't have many clear-cut opportunities", he told MLSsoccer.com. They celebrated lustily a 1-0 victory that eliminated the US from contention and sent Costa Rica into the final round, from which it reached Mexico '86. They kept numbers behind the ball and waited to hit on the counter, and found some success in doing so in the opening half-hour.

Six minutes later disaster struck for the US. Some indecision allowed Urena to turn US defender Tim Ream, before beating Tim Howard with a well-placed strike into the far corner of the net.

"We obviously didn't play well tonight", said Arena. And with two hard road games to play and two teams to compete with, suddenly a direct berth to the World Cup seems far less likely than it did at the start of the day. I think he got a little frustrated.

Panama's match late Friday at Mexico threatened to further complicate the US plans. An awkward deflection off a Costa Rica player forced Navas to make an even more awkward adjustment on the ground, sprawling his body to make the stop.

It was the second half where he did his best work on this night.

The reality is that it was a bit of both, along with some poor individual performances from a few USA players.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Urena's goal in the 30th minute broke the Americans' streak of scoring first in nine straight games. A minute later, another awful pass by Cameron led to the second goal.

Dempsey has 57 career US goals and is tied with Landon Donovan for the all-time USA men's record. "You have to give credit to them. It's over with. We've got to regroup and get our team ready to play on Tuesday".

He added: "We'll move on". Honduras' 2-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago has brought them level on points with the USA, with the Americans ahead on goal difference. A tough challenge in Honduras awaits next, and a victory there on Tuesday is far from guaranteed.

The result pushes Costa Rica into a tie with Mexico atop the Hex standings, and cranks up the pressure on the Yanks, who now risk being overhauled by Panama, Honduras or both in the race for the region's third and final automatic World Cup berth. Since he plays for Costa Rica, the midfielder quickly put the ball right back down Cameron's throat, playing Urena through the center for the easiest of finishes. We're not able to get this game back.

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