United States loses to Costa Rica as Joel Campbell scores winner
Joel Campbell scored his first international goal for Costa Rica since the 2014 World Cup in a 1-0 friendly win versus the United States in Harrison, New Jersey.
The loss was more bad news for the Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. team, coming on the heels of Saturday's 3-2 CONCACAF Cup loss to Mexico in Pasadena, California. It was the third straight loss at home for the United States, including a September friendly loss to Brazil.
The U.S. fielded a much different looking team than the one that lost in extra time to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup. Most notably missing was Fabian Johnson, who was sent home for disciplinary reasons following the Mexico match. A few veterans, like Kyle Beckerman, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley were either allowed to return to their club teams or given the night off.
Tim Howard took over in goal for the Americans in his first start since taking a break from international competition. Jozy Altidore captained the U.S. team on the night.
And the team struggled at times throughout the match, giving the ball away in midfield and allowing Costa Rica to generate chances after
Tim Ream came close in the 29th minute for the U.S., but his headed effort from a set piece was knocked away by Keylor Navas.
Costa Rica had its best chance turned away right before the stroke of halftime when Cristian Gamboa found Johan Venegas at the top of the six-yard box, only to have his close range effort turned away by Brad Evans.
The game was goalless at halftime.
Up-and-coming super-sub Bobby Wood, who scored the extra-time equalizer versus Mexico, came on at halftime for Jozy Altidore, and Geoff Cameron was substituted for Ventura Alvarado at the break as well.
Alvarado was called into immediate action when Michael Orozco misplayed a long ball in the 46th minute, allowing Marco Urena to break in on goal. Alvarado came sliding in to disrupt the shot and keep things level early in the second half.
Costa Rica looked dangerous again in the 53rd minute when Campbell found space outside the U.S. penalty area, but he pushed his well-hit effort from distance wide right of Howard's goal.
Another turnover in the defensive third for the U.S. saw Campbell get a clean run on goal, but another well-hit shot was parried over the crossbar by Tim Howard.
Strong forward runs from DeAndre Yedlin and Wood were the only signs of life for the U.S. attack in the opening minutes of the second half. However, both of the American youngsters' runs into Costa Rican territory looked dangerous at first, but were defused by the Ticos defense.
Campbell finally got on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute following another giveaway by the U.S. The Arsenal man took a pass from David Myrie in the center of the penalty area and hit it first time past Howard.
Brad Evans, a defensive bright spot for the U.S., blocked what looked to be another sure goal from Costa Rica in the 77th minute. Daniel Colindres fired on goal from close range, but Evans knocked the shot away to keep the score 1-0.
Howard stopped one final breakaway chance for Costa Rica to keep the deficit to one goal in the match, while his counterpart Navas was barely tested in the match and kept a clean sheet.
The U.S. begins its CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign in November, with matches against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the 5th and Trinidad and Tobago on the 13th.