The US men’s national team rebounded from a disastrous start to defeat Costa Rica 2-1 in the final match of October's Concacaf World Cup Qualifying window Wednesday night at Lower.com Field.
It was a joyous ending after a horrific beginning for the USMNT, which fell behind in the opening minute when an unmarked Keysher Fuller latched onto Ronald Matarrita's back-post service and bounced his effort past Zack Steffen, who has played sparingly for Manchester City this season.
Sergino Dest leveled in the 25th minute with a blistering left-footed blast from the edge of the 18-yard box into the top left corner after receiving the ball from Yunus Musah, who bounced back from struggling in Panama to record a positive performance.
Miles Robinson made up for what was nearly a costly defensive miscue with a recovery run to dispossess Bryan Ruiz, who initially broke in behind the USMNT defense on a run from midfield.
That intervention proved to be timely because the decisive goal would soon follow.
An own goal by substitute goalkeeper Leonel Moreira, who replaced an injured Keylor Navas at halftime, gave the USMNT a lead in the 66th minute. Timothy Weah's shot caromed off the post and the goalkeeper before rolling over the line after Fuller failed to deal with a cross.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The USMNT rebounded from their first qualifying loss in Panama to defeat Costa Rica and take six points from the October window. That keeps Gregg Berhalter's squad on the heels of first-place Mexico ahead of next month’s clash in Cincinnati. No Joel Campbell, Navas goes off at halftime due to injury and it's just four points for the Ticos in this window. But could it have been more?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Costa Rica had a penalty shout in the 37th minute when Jonathan Moya went down on a Chris Richards sliding tackle in front of Zack Steffen. But referee Daneion Parchment wasn’t convinced. Had this been given, who knows how differently the match would have turned out.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With #USMNT Twitter in mid freakout, Dest helped change the narrative with this golazo. He also helped set up the decisive goal with a through ball to Weah into the box.
- USA: Friday, Nov. 12 vs. Mexico | 9:10 pm ET (ESPN, Univision, TUDN) | Concacaf World Cup Qualifying
- CRC: Friday, Nov. 12 at Canada | 9:05 pm ET (Paramount+, OneSoccer) | Concacaf World Cup Qualifying