Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell extended the United States nightmare when he scored the winning goal in the 70th minute. Los Ticos defeated the Americans 1-0 on Tuesday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
“The Saturday night was still heavy in the air,” USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in the postgame press-conference. “Our heads were full. It wasn’t so much a physical question as much as we were not able to shake this off after two days. Coming here to play another game was just too much on their shoulders coming off that 120 minutes with Mexico.”
Campbell started the play by holding the ball while surrounded by three USMNT defenders. He then passed the ball to Ticos midfielder Celso Borges who directly ahead of him. Teammate David Myrie started his run behind Borges. He overlapped the midfielder and was heading down the right hand side of the field.
Borges launched a ball towards Myrie; the defender then took off and took one touch on the ball. Once he entered the penalty box he placed the pass near the penalty spot, where Campbell was completing his run.
The former Arsenal FC product wasted no time in attempting to control the pass. He just smashed the ball to the bottom left hand corner to give Los Ticos the 1-0 lead and the eventual victory.
However, even before Costa Rica took the lead they were dominating the Americans. The Central Americans took a total of 15 shots and managed to get five of them on target. The USMNT were only able to produce four shots in the entire 90 minutes. The Yanks did put three of them on target, but none of the shots troubled Ticos goalie Keylor Navas as he made three saves.
Three of their four shots came in the first half and in the final 45 minutes their offense fell asleep. The United States struggled against the Central Americans because the defense was quicker. Los Ticos finished with 20 tackles and cleared the ball out of danger 18 times.
The U.S. did manage to get six yellow cards in their lackluster performance on Tuesday. It was clear to see that the Yanks have not recovered from the 3-2 bitter overtime defeat against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The two countries will now begin their road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia next month. Los Ticos will be entering group B with momentum after defeating the Americans in the United States for only their fifth time in 22 attempts.
The Yanks will need to turn their mindset around quickly sine they have lost three games in a row. The U.S. has been outscored eight to three in their slump.
“As a team we’re not playing as well as we should,” U.S. defender Geoff Cameron said. “We all know there’s games where you play amazing and you don’t win, and it’s devastating. And then there’s games where you grind out a tough result, and you win when you didn’t deserve it. It’s one of those things where we have to get back on track.”
Costa Rica will start the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifications at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica against Haiti on November 13th. The Americans will begin the qualifying at home against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the same day.