HT: USA 1-1 Costa Rica
42 min: Pepi heads in a cross toward the target but it’s easily handled by Navas.
40 min: Blanco’s shot from close range is parried away by Steffen and out for a corner. Elsewhere, USA’s northern neighbors are also down early to Central American visitors as Panama has scored only five minutes in through Rolando Blackburn for a 1-0 win over Canada.
37 min: A dangerous chance for Costa Rica as Moya closes in on goal but Richards slides in from behind to break up the dangerous chance. Moya down in the heap but nothing from the referee. It probably should have been a penalty and the replay only confirms it. Fortunately, for the Americans at least, there’s no VAR implemented for World Cup qualifying in this particular confederation.
35 min: Weah has a go from distance but it’s easily corralled by Navas.
32 min: Not much in the way of chances for either side as the game moves past the half-hour mark. The US win a free kick from distance. Richards heads it down but no American player can run onto it and it’s cleared harmlessly.
GOAL! USA 1-1 Costa Rica (Dest, 25 min)
Dest, the 22-year-old from Barcelona, cuts inside at the edge of the area and fires a left-footed missile into the upper-left corner to equalize for the United States. It marks the first time in nine matches the Americans have scored a goal before half-time.
23 min: A good ball in from Antonee Robinson but neither Pepi nor Weah can get their head on it. More frustration for the United States at the quarter pole.
20 min: A bit of a slow patch as the teams are mostly trading possession in the middle third. Weah, the last-minute start, has stood out in the early going even if the US team don’t have many chances to show for it.
16 min: Aaronson’s offering toward the far post is overcooked and out for a goal kick.
15 min: McKennie runs onto a pass, takes a couple of touches down the left side before firing a shot on goal that’s deflected out for a corner. Nothing comes of it, but the US win a free kick on the edge of the area moments later.
10 min: A shell-shocked US team have yet to generate a serious chance. It’s the first time the Americans have conceded a first-minute goal in World Cup qualifying since 1997.
5 min: The US are recovering after a nightmarish start. Weah centers it for Aaronson after a sustained spell of possession for the Americans but Aaronson can’t direct a shot onto the goal.
GOAL! USA 0-1 Costa Rica (Fuller, 1 min)
And they’re off ... and Keysher Fuller has quickly given the visitors a stunning early lead when he runs onto a right-wing feed and slips it past Steffen into the far corner. Appeals for offside are turned away and Costa Rica are ahead exactly 60 seconds in. Columbus in stunned silence!
A lineup update for the United States: Weah replaces Arriola, who picked up an injury during warmups. Not sure why Arriola was in the XI to start with after starting the past two games in a short period.
Here’s a look at tonight’s teams. With an average age of 22 years, 229 days, tonight’s starting lineup for the Americans is the youngest fielded by the USMNT in World Cup qualifying history, beating out the group that began last month’s 4-1 win over at Honduras.
XI: Steffen, A Robinson, M Robinson, Richards, McKennie, Adams (C), Musah, Aaronson, Pepi, Arriola
Subs: Turner, Yedlin, Bello, Zimmerman, McKenzie, Roldán, Busio, Acosta, De La Torre, Zardes, Hoppe, Weah
XI: Navas, Matarrita, Calvo, Duarte, Fuller, Blanco, Venegas, Tejeda, Borges, Ruiz, Moya
Subs: Cruz, Moreira, Vargas, Waston, Calderon, Faerron, Oviedo, Salas, Bolaños, Marin, Leal, Saborio
Hello and welcome to tonight’s World Cup qualifier between the United States and Costa Rica. It’s the sixth matchday of Concacaf’s first-ever octagonal, where eight nations will play 14 matches in seven months – seven home and seven away – to determine three automatic qualifiers for next year’s World Cup in Qatar. But it’s already a critical one for the United States who have managed just eight points on two wins, one defeat and two draws coming off Sunday’s deflating 1-0 loss at Panama.
The Americans are also missing star players Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna due to injury, though they have welcomed back Weston McKennie following his disciplinary flap over a violation of Covid-19 protocols.
Kickoff is a touch under 15 minutes from now. We’ll be back with the team sheets directly.