U.S. vs Costa Rica CONCACAF WC Qualifiers

Sep 04, 2017, 11:29
U.S. vs Costa Rica CONCACAF WC Qualifiers

Instead, following a 2-0 setback to Costa Rica on Friday at Red Bull Arena, they face the alarming prospect of tumbling into fifth place in the six-nation group with two matches left - and perhaps missing soccer's biggest competition for the first time in 32 years.

"This is our reality at the moment", captain Michael Bradley said. The Italians will likely go through the playoff round in November. The US next plays Tuesday in Honduras in a match that now takes on great significance.

Perhaps the USA should be anxious, because there was plenty to be concerned about with regard to this performance.

Star goalie Keylor Navas came up with some exciting saves on messy, nail-biting plays.

Mexico leads with 14 points, followed by Costa Rica (11), the U.S.

From a US perspective, there was an overall lack of sharpness at both ends of the field.

Navas preserved the lead in the 68th with a stellar save, a falling right-handed stop on a deflected shot by Christian Pulisic.

Urena scored again after Ream's centerback partner, Geoff Cameron, scuffed a pass right to Daniel Guzman, who played Urena in behind Cameron to stroke the ball cleanly past Howard. It initially looked like his momentum carried him too far wide of goal, but with Tim Howard overcommitting to the near post, Urena managed to tuck his shot inside the far post to Howard's right.

In the process the US set some more dubious marks.

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After the match on Friday against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, the USA plays Honduras at San Pedro Sula on September 5, and then closes against Panama on October 6 at Orlando, Fla., and at Trinidad four days later.

"There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves, and we're not".

"You have to rely on the referee's judgment, and those calls didn't go our way tonight", said Altidore.

It was Costa Rica's first win in a World Cup qualifying game on United States soil since 1985.

The Real Madrid goalkeeper would prove to be a life saver throughout the course of the game as he made further saves to prevent the U.S. from tying the game. If that happens, then getting two points out of the trips to Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago should be enough to survive-though a win in one of those away games would be even better.

The U.S. was losing the game, and its cool, in equal measure.

Costa Rica's tactical gameplan wasn't a mystery to Arena, nor any of the XI that took the field. The U.S. goes to Honduras on Tuesday in a match whose stakes tripled thanks to this performance. But that will require some aspects of the Americans' game to change.

San Jose Earthquakes forward Urena exposed slack defending in the USA back four in the 30th minute to fire Costa Rica ahead at the Red Bull Arena.

"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. "You could see early in the game they always sent a second player to him".

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