With a home win against Costa Rica in Columbus on Wednesday night, the U.S. men’s national team can set aside all the controversy and chatter around the lineup selection, the coach’s tactics and the U.S. players’ ability to come through in a big spot.
The Americans’ first 2022 World Cup qualifying loss on Sunday — and the manner in which it occurred, without a single shot on goal in Panama — ignited a wave of panic that will probably not be quelled without a convincing win against the 44th-ranked Costa Ricans, who sit in sixth place in the qualifying standings. They can still overtake the second-place USMNT with an upset win.
It was the Ticos who handed the USA a painful home loss in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, and it ultimately resulted in a shocking early elimination from that tournament. Costa Rica will field several of those same veteran players against a U.S. team that should have its first-choice lineup after manager Gregg Berhalter, trying to keep players fresh, made seven changes to the lineup on Sunday.
Sporting News will follow the event live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they’re available:
USA vs. Costa Rica score
CRC — Keysher Fuller (Ronald Matarrita) — 1st min.
USA — Sergino Dest — 25th min.
USA — Leonel Moreira (own goal) — 66th min.
USA vs. Costa Rica live updates, highlights from World Cup qualifier
Standings and results: Updated World Cup qualifying table
(All times Eastern)
87th min.: Chance for Costa Rica on a set piece! Bryan Ruiz commits the hand ball on the play, but it was close. Before the play Gyasi Zardes comes on for Pepi and Walker Zimmerman is on for Brenden Aaronson.
84th min.: SUBS – The old guard coming on. Alvaro Saborio, Kendall Waston and Christian Bolanos all come on.
82nd min.: Excellent cross by Busio and the ‘keeper missed it, but Matthew Hoppe couldn’t react in time to it and goes past his head. Half chance for USA.
77th min.: SUB – And there’s the U.S. sub. It’s Busio on for Yunus Musah in central midfield.
73rd min.: SUBS – USA brings on DeAndre Yedlin and Matthew Hoppe for Sergino Dest and Tim Weah. It looks like Gianluca Busio is about to be next.
70th min.: The USA is pouring it on. It’s a near own goal by Costa Rica but Moreira reacts in time before the ball goes over the goal line. It was Francisco Calvo stopping a cross from getting to Ricardo Pepi.
68th min.: Another quick USMNT move and Tim Weah fires another shot which Moreira stops this time.
66th min.: Goal USA! Keysher Fuller lets the ball past him and it goes to Sergino Dest, who immediately sends Tim Weah through and his first time shot went off the near post and off the goalkeeper Moreira. It’s 2-1 USA.
56th min.: What a chance for Costa Rica! Captain Bryan Ruiz intercepts a Miles Robinson pass and runs in alone on goal, but it’s Miles Robinson who catches the 36-year-old and pokes the ball away. Five or 10 years ago, that play is a goal for Costa Rica. What a let-off for the USA.
What are you guys doing? 😳