Q SPORTS – After reading the two main articles in La Nacion on last night’s semi-finals game between Costa Rica and the United States, it took a visit to the GoldCup website to learn the score, the Americans had downed the Ticos 2-0.
And the Costa Rican national team can now pack its bags and head home to get ready for the really important game in September, the World Cup 2018 qualifying round between the two.
The headline in this morning’s La Nacion reads, “The United States gives Costa Rica the first warning.”
“In on month and nine days”, says La Nacion, “La Sele’s (Costa Rica’s national team) coach Óscar Ramírez already received an advance of what can be expected of the tactical side of strategist Bruce Arena, (the U.S. national team’s coach).”
Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November after the Ticos Costa Rica downed the U.S. 4-0 at home.
The two teams will face each other in the last round of qualifying before heading to the playoffs in November, at the Red Bull Arena, in Harrison (New Jersey, USA), on September 1, 2018.
In the North, Central America and Caribbean standings, Costa Rica is second place with 11 points, behind Mexico with 14 and the USA is in third with 8 points. The top three teams will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
But, back to last night’s CONCACAF Gold Cup game.
Clint Dempsey fed Jozy Altidore for the go-ahead goal, then scored on a free kick to give the United States and wind over Costa Rica 2-0. Altidore scored his 38th international goal for USA in the 72nd minute with a dinked shot over Costa Rica goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton.
Playing in his home state of Texas, the 34-year-old Dempsey scored the cond the second goal for the USA at the 82nd minute. “I saw the keeper cheating a little bit, and it went in,” Dempsey said.
Costa Rica’s best chance of the first half came in the 37th minute when Bryan Ruiz slotted in a pass for Marcos Ureña, who shot on target only to see USA goalkeeper Tim Howard save his shot with his right boot.
The USA have now gone eight matches unbeaten against Costa Rica in Gold Cup history. Before the match, the Stars and Stripes had six wins and one draw in their head-to-head history with the Ticos.
The Gold Cup 2017 Final
Trying for their sixth Gold Cup title and first since 2013, the Americans play Mexico or Jamaica (to be decided today Sunday 23 at Rose Bowl, Pasadena) in the final on Wednesday at Santa Clara, California.