USMNT 0-2 Costa Rica

04 September, 2017, 11:26 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • USA will host Costa Rica as part of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

US manager Bruce Arena didn't hold back in his criticism of his team, following the Americans' 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier.

The US were poorly set up from the start, jittery, and the result was what both teams deserved. A poor clearing kick from goalkeeper Tim Howard was headed back towards the U.S. territory and with Ream and Geoff Cameron out of position, Urena burst through the middle.

It was clear nearly right away that Ream and Cameron were having issues with Marco Ureña at the top of Costa Rica's formation, with the big striker's off-ball movement and ball pressure giving both of them fits. "It's really disappointing, but I don't think much will be missed".

Germany's 2-1 win at the Czech Republic was the world champion's seventh straight win in qualifying and maintained its five-point lead over Northern Ireland atop Group C with three rounds left.

"Qualifying has been in jeopardy since a year ago for most teams", he said. "We've got three games to play like our lives depend on it, and we will". "We lost to a team that played better than us tonight".

While the home side struggled, Costa Rica was composed from the outset, comfortable in possession as it pushed forward away from home. "He had a tough game today, and obviously they paid a lot of attention to him", USA coach Bruce Arena said of Pulisic on Friday night.

"I was anxious about him slotting it to the near post", Howard said. 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.

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This loss snaps the United States' unbeaten streak of 17 competitive home games vs. Costa Rica.

It was just their third home loss in qualifying since 1985 - and came 16 years to the day the US and Arena lost 3-2 to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium. "I thought they outplayed us".

By then winning their last two games - vs. Panama in Orlando on October 6 and at T&T four days later - the Americans would claim third place.

The Americans are now six points adrift of leaders Mexico and Costa Rica, who both have 14 points and look certain to lock up the top two automatic qualifying spots.

Clint Dempsey started on the bench for the USA, with manager Bruce Arena electing to play Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore up front while pairing Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream in the center of the defense.

Honduras saw out the match for their fourth win in a row against T&T ahead of a match with massive qualifying implications against the U.S. The Americans are living a good moment as they were crowned champions of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and tied 1-1 against Mexico at the Estadio Azteca in their last game in these qualifiers. Just after this play, Altidore was shown a yellow card. Fabian Johnson, Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, and Christian Pulisic spread across the midfield behind Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood.

The African champion was humbled on Friday, with Cameroon losing 4-0 in Nigeria to see its World Cup hopes slipping away. Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris deserve consideration too, especially Dempsey given his experience and ability to produce something out of nothing.


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