World Cup Qualifier: USMNT Fall To Costa Rica • Latino Sports


World Cup Qualifier: USMNT Fall To Costa Rica


HARRISON, N.J. – In front of a sold-out crowd of 25,600 at Red Bull Arena, the U.S. Men’s National Team fell 2-0 to Costa Rica on Matchday 7 of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Friday night. The U.S. will look to rebound quickly with a fast approaching Matchday 8 encounter at Honduras on Tuesday (5:30 p.m. ET; beIN Sports, UNIVERSO).

A tight opening to the match included a legitimate penalty shout from Jozy Altidore in the 24thminute. A good bit of possession led to Christian Pulisic finding space on the right, before he centered looking for Altidore in stride. With his body between the goal and Kendall Waston, Altidore was set to receive the pass and was hauled down from behind by the Costa Rica defender before the following appeals went begging.

Costa Rica caught the U.S. off guard to take the lead on the half-hour mark. A ball out of the back was taken down by Bryan Ruiz, who played a simple pass for Marco Ureña to run into the gap in the U.S. central defense. The San Jose Earthquakes attacker held off Tim Ream before scraping his effort from the right inside the lower, left post in the 30 th minute.

The U.S. fired back when a nice bit of skill from Altidore up the right allowed him to set up Christian Pulisic in the area, but his first-time effort was blocked at the near post by Waston, allowing Costa Rica to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Ream nearly made amends for the Costa Rica goal after the break. An early second-half corner kick from Graham Zusi picked out the center back, who rose at the six-yard box where he nodded his effort down, only to see it bounce over the cross bar.

With the U.S. still looking for a goal after the hour mark, Clint Dempsey entered the match and sent a deflected free kick into the path of Pulisic whose first-time shot was only kept out thanks to a sweeping paw from sprawling Costa Rica ‘keeper Keylor Navas.

Navas came up big again in the 81st minute when Altidore got on the end of a long ball from Geoff Cameron, only to see the Real Madrid backstop come up with a point-blank stop at the top of the six-yard box. The Ticos struck the fatal blow just a minute later when David Guzmán intercepted a pass out of the back quickly slipped a ball through the U.S. backline to find Ureña in stride, who tucked home his effort in the 82nd minute to provide the final 2-0 score line.

Next on the Schedule: The MNT looks to rebound quickly when it heads to Honduras for a Matchday 8 encounter vs. Los Catracos on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Kickoff from Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula is set for 5:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on beiN SPORTS and UNIVERSO.

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