US Falls Short After Promising First Half
US 0-1 Costa Rica
Despite a dominating performance early in the game, the US was unable to finish their early chances or create any late in the game after a defensive lapse gave Costa Rica a 1-0 lead. Following the goal the US seemed to abandon the playing style they began the game with as their pushes forward became more and more desperate.
The Americans’ best chance of the night came in the 6th minute of the game. Brek Shea started the play with a give and go with Jozy Altidore that ended with Shea just outside of the box. To his right Landon Donovan was making a run with no Costa Rican defenders in front of him. Shea played a square ball into Donovan’s path. It looked like a clear goal, but the resulting shot rolled just wide of the goal.
For the rest of the first half, the US dominated the possession, but was unable to equal the promising chance from Donovan. Creative play from the midfield through Shea and Jose Torres did set up a couple of chances, but the final ball or the final touch failed the US players.
Eventually Costa Rica switched to a more physical game, desperate to get the ball and make a few chances of their own. After tallying 16 fouls to the US’s 5, the Ticos took a couple of chances on goal in the dying moments of the half, but despite a fairly inactive first half, Howard was up to the challenge.
The second half started much like the first did for the US. In the 55th minute Robbie Rogers, who had a very disappointing first half following his efforts against Mexico, made a diagonal run from the right and slipped a through ball to Altidore. The Costa Rican goalkeeper closed in on Altidore, but not before he slipped the ball back to Rogers who slotted the ball into an empty net. Unfortunately Altidore was in an offside position and the goal was called back.
In the 65th minute, Costa Rica pulled ahead after a falter in the back. Alvaro Saborio slipped free to run onto a pass over the top of the US back four. Both Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Orozco recovered back to Saborio, but neither dropped off to help Timmy Chandler with the two players making runs to the far post. Saborio played a low cross to Michael Barrantes who fired a shot. Howard was able to make the initial stop but he could only get a touch to the ball after Rodney Wallace got a head to the rebound.
After getting the lead, Costa Rica clamped down defensively for the remaining 25 minutes. Klinsmann responded by sending in Sacha Kljestan as the only remaining offensive substitute on the US bench after Agudelo replaced Altidore a few minutes before the Costa Rican goal. As the US searched for the equalizer, their play got more and more desperate with only a long range effort from Torres in the 71st minute and a couple promising plays from Agudelo to show for it.
CRC – Rodney Wallace (Michael Barrantes) 65th minute
USA : 1-Tim Howard; 2-Timmy Chandler, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 3-Edgar Castillo; 6-Maurice Edu, 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Jose Torres; 7-Robbie Rogers (16-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 9-Jozy Altidore (18-Juan Agudelo , 63), 11-Brek Shea
Subs not used: 12-Bill Hamid, 13-Clarence Goodson, 14-Jonathan Spector, 15-Jeff Larentowicz, 17-Tim Ream
CRC : 1-Keylor Navas; 19-Carlos Johnson (3-Jose Salvatierra, 82), 4-Michael Umaña, 20-Jhonny Acosta, 15-Roy Miller; 17-Josue Martínez (22-Daniel Colindres, 46), 11-Michael Barrantes (5-Jose Mena, 87), 14-Randall Azofeifa (capt.), 25-Álvaro Sanchez (16-Kareem Mclean, 79); 9-Alvaro Saborio 10-Randall Brenes (12-Rodney Wallace, 61)
Subs not used: 18-Leonel Moreira, 23-Danny Carvajal; 6-Christopher Meneses, 2-Roy Smith, 24-Allen Guevara, 8-David Guzmán, 21-Winston Parks
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 11 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 12 / 27
Offside: 5 / 6
CRC – Josue Martínez (caution) 29th minute
USA – Landon Donovan (caution) 58
CRC – Roy Miller (caution) 73
USA – Brek Shea (caution) 78
USA – Sacha Kljestan (caution) 79
CRC — Jhonny Acosta (caution) 90+1