At the final whistle it was a 66th minute goal by Rodney Wallace that separated Costa Rica from United States. The match also handed the boss of U.S. national team, Jurgen Klinsmann his first defeat.
The match was an enthralling encounter between Costa Rica and USA in front of an attendance of 15,798 at the Home Depot Center. For Portland Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace it was a dream debut as he headed the only goal of the match after chaos was created in the box of USA.
In spite of the defeat Klinsmann remains positive and is optimistic about the team’s future. In the post match press conference the German born stated, “From a performance point of view it was very very positive. There was confidence there, there was technical ability there. From what we trained and how they implemented, it was very good."
Costa Rica made a sloppy start to the match. Interim coach Ronald Gonzalez already knew that Jorge Luis Pinto was going to replace him after the match hence an awkward aura prevailed over the Los Ticos camp. However, all that was evaporated when a victory against USA was recorded. Costa Rica were missing the services of strikers Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz, both of whom had made transfer to London clubs during the summer transfer window.
United States made a brilliant start to the match. In the early minutes they carved in some beautiful crosses unfortunately no one was able to utilize their full potential. USA’s star attacking midfielder, Landon Donovan was guilty of squandering a couple of precious chances. He kicked as assist from Brek Shea wide from the far post and then blasted a ball over the cross bar and onto the moon.
Costa Rica on the other hand were slowly building up steam and by half time they had created a couple of chances too. They started the second half on a high note and soon enough Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio broke the offside trap and dribbled the ball into the box. Everton’s American goalkeeper, Tim Howard somehow managed to save Michael Barrantes’ stinger but substitute Rodney Wallace dived in with fearless header to rebound the ball of Howard into the roof of the net and in the process drew first blood.
United States lacked pace in the second half of the match. Klinsmann was found reminiscing about their match against Mexico but sadly none of his players came up with a creative spark to level the match.
Later Kinsmann admitted that the fitness of his players was not what where he wanted. He said, "The physical part of it, that's again where we need to step up a bit more, be more hungry."
Brek Shea was man of the hour from U.S. camp but sadly other players were unable to connect with him. Late into the match Shea cut into the box to score but was pushed over by defender Michael Umana. The Costa Rican and American were about to bare their fists when the referee arrived and diffused the matter and showing them both yellow cards.
Klinsmann is confident his players are moving in the right direction. He informed that the United States national team was improving day in day out hence would be ready for the upcoming challenges and qualification matches for the World Cup.