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United States Outlasts Costa Rica for 2-1 Win in 2022 World Cup Qualifying

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 14, 2021

Omar Vega/Getty Images

Three days after a disappointing loss to Panama, the United States men's national team bounced back with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.

Costa Rica scored just one minute into the game, stunning the home crowd at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.

Sergino Dest responded with an incredible goal in the 25th minute, while Timothy Weah helped put the United States in front in the 66th minute:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

TIM WEAH GETS THE BOUNCE TO PUT THE USMNT UP 2-1 🙌 <a href="https://t.co/9rzF6zztok">pic.twitter.com/9rzF6zztok</a>

It went into the stat sheet as an own goal by Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira, who entered the game at halftime in place of Paris Saint-Germain stopper Keylor Navas. The starter suffered an adductor injury, via ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, which turned out to be significant in the match.

Team USA was still the more aggressive team in the match, controlling 64 percent of possession while outshooting Costa Rica 12-3

The United States now has 11 points through six matches in CONCACAF qualifying, keeping it among the top three in the table.

It was far from a perfect match, although there was a lot to like from the American performance.

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Dest provided the biggest highlight of the game, firing a rocket from the edge of the box with his left foot:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

SERGINO DEST WHAT A GOAL 🔥<br><br>The USMNT equalize! <a href="https://t.co/eVNh8R8Lym">pic.twitter.com/eVNh8R8Lym</a>

B/R Football @brfootball

Sergino Dest’s stunner, up close and personal ☄️<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/USMNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USMNT</a>) <a href="https://t.co/EKtzujHPEy">pic.twitter.com/EKtzujHPEy</a>

It was an excellent finish off great team play:

Andrew Keh @andrewkeh

By my quick count, that was a 13-pass move by the U.S. preceding Dest's very nice goal

Paul Tenorio @PaulTenorio

Absolute banger from Dest. Great build out of the back from the USMNT. 1-1. U.S. dominating here despite the early mistake.

Stu Holden @stuholden

Dest-ined for the top corner. What a banger… and what a great build up for the <a href="https://twitter.com/USMNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USMNT</a>. Started in their own box

It also ended a run of miserable first-half play from the United States:

Paul Carr @PaulCarr

Sergiño Dest ends the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USMNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USMNT</a>'s 428-minute drought without a first-half goal!<br><br>The previous U.S. first-half goal was in the first minute against Canada, in the final game of the Gold Cup group stage.

The sluggish starts have been a calling card for the United States throughout qualifying, and that was certainly the case Wednesday, giving up a goal in the first minute.

Keysher Fuller put his foot on a cross that bounced past Zack Steffen in net:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

COSTA RICA LEAD IN THE FIRST MINUTE!<br><br>USMNT DOWN 😱 <a href="https://t.co/cgYSoIgU1n">pic.twitter.com/cgYSoIgU1n</a>

The 1-0 scoreline created plenty of tension among the USMNT fanbase, but the players responded well with a relentless attack that featured six first-half shots with three on goal.

The United States had only five shots all game in the loss to Panama, zero on net.

Costa Rica had few first-half chances offensively after the opening goal, with the best opportunity in the box stopped by a sliding Chris Richards. The Ticos argued for a penalty on the tackle, but it wasn't given.

Miles Robinson then made up for his own mistake in the second half by tracking back for a tackle:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

What a recovery by Miles Robinson 😅 <a href="https://t.co/CbIggaqXBs">pic.twitter.com/CbIggaqXBs</a>

Costa Rica simply couldn't break through for a second goal, providing the chance for the United States to eventually take the lead.

The midfield trio of Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah helped control the action for the Americans, while Dest was extremely effective down the right flank. It was enough to pull out a win and come away with an important three points.

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

For a young team that haven’t had many if any moments like tonight, it says a lot how they reacted after that early goal. Fantastic strike from Dest and the <a href="https://twitter.com/USMNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USMNT</a> get a big 3 points even with some nervy moments and mistakes. 👊🏼💪🏼 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USMNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USMNT</a>

It's another important stepping stone toward potentially qualifying for the World Cup, although the team will have its biggest test to date in its next match.

The United States will host Mexico on Nov. 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  

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