United States: 0-0: 0
Costa Rica: 1-3: 4
We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but nobody thought it would be this bad.
USMNT gave up a goal just before halftime, and then three more in the second half as they fell 4-0 in Costa Rica. Joel Campbell came off the bench to score two easy goals in the second half, as USA’s back line struggled all night long.
USA had a few chances with Wood and Pulisic on the wings, but Keylor Navas kept a clean sheet for Los Ticos.
Costa Rica now lead CONCACAF with six points through two matches. USA are 0-2, and won’t reconvene until January.
Scroll down for full match highlights:
Another breakaway goal for Campbell. He beats the back line unmarked on a through ball from Matarrita, and easily finishes for his second goal. In a game they needed to have, USA are officially getting embarrassed.
Costa Rica puts the nail in USA’s coffin, as Joel Campbell undresses John Brooks, then breaks away and beats Guzan easily. It’s 3-0, it’s loud, and USA look terrible.
Just minutes after play was stopped for a Costa Rica injury, Los Ticos double their lead after another USA turnover. It’s Bolaños again, heading it in after a great cross from Ruiz. USA are in trouble.
Venegas burns Chandler, and Guzan bails out USA once again. Shaky start for USA.
USA give up another horrible goal before a whistle, this time to Costa Rica just minutes before the halftime whistle.
Costa Rica did not dominate play in the first half, but they surely enjoyed more chances. They looked dangerous on crosses, which USA have recently had great trouble defending. USA have had a few chances, but Pulisic has not seen nearly enough touches. Wood and Pulisic are our best offensive threats, but the midfield is having a tough time finding them in space.
Normally this is where Costa Rica parks the bus, but this iteration of Los Ticos look too athletic to sit back. USA need to be aggressive, but they also need to be wary of Costa Rica on the counter.
Bolaños chases down a ball that was lazily defended by USA, and Venegas slams a header near post. Costa Rica finally capitalize here in the first half.
Bobby Wood produces USA’s best chance of the night so far, sliding a cross along the goal line past Navas. Nobody was on the other end, but USA have had their moments in the first half, particularly playing on the wing through Wood and Pulisic.
The Ticos have been looking dangerous, as Bolaños is clearly the best attacking threat on the field. He and Matarrita nearly hooked up on a quick free kick, but it was barely deflected aside by Altidore. USA need to maintain possession, as their flashes of attack will not be enough against sustained pressure.
Cards at both ends, and USMNT need to be careful with suspensions looming. First Salvatierra drags down a streaking Altidore, but USA are unable to capitalize. Then Chandler gets a yellow in the midfield, where USA continue to struggle. No goals so far, but chances for both teams.
The first chance belongs to Costa Rica, as Venegas put the moves on John Brooks but was denied by Guzan.
USMNT need to rebound quickly from last week’s disappointment against Mexico when they head into hostile territory to face Costa Rica. USA are winless in ten visits to Costa Rica and have only drawn twice, but need a positive result to better their chances at the 2018 World Cup.
USA are now on the wrong side of World Cup qualifying, a process known in CONCACAF as “The Hex.” Six teams qualify for the final round, with three automatically advancing and fourth place facing a playoff qualifier with an Asian nation.
Costa Rica defeated Trinidad & Tobago last week, putting them in the drivers seat with Mexico for qualifying. Costa Rica were the surprise of the 2014 World Cup, but have been disappointing since then. Oscar Ramirez took over as manager and navigated through a transition period, and the team is 12-4-2 since he took over in August 2015.
These teams met in the group stage of Copa America Centenario, with USA needing a win even moreso than tonight. The result was a 4-0 USA win in Chicago, sending USA to the next round and eliminating Costa Rica.