Tim Weah scored his second international goal in the 66th minute after Sergiño Dest began his comeback from a deficit in the first minute, and the United States edged Costa Rica 2-1 on Wednesday night to ease pressure as qualifying for the World Cup was approaching the halfway point.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, one of nine starters inserted by coach Gregg Berhalter after Sunday’s sad 1-0 loss in Panama, made a costly header that led to Keysher Fuller’s goal in 60 seconds, the fastest goal. granted by the United States in 23 years.
Dest, another new starter for his coach who emphasizes rotation, tied the score in the 25th minute when he fired a shot that passed Keylor Navas.
“I was like, I have to shoot,” Dest said. “Was so happy. We needed that goal. It was a really important goal ”.
Nevas, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, injured an adductor muscle and was replaced by Leonel Moreiera early in the second half.
Weah, the son of Liberian President and former FIFA Player of the Year George Weah, was not in the original starting lineup, but was announced just before kickoff in place of Paul Arriola, who injured his right groin. He tied it up when Weston McKennie passed it on to Dest, who served it to Weah. His long-range shot bounced off a Moreira dive and into the near post.
Weah’s only other goal was in an exhibition against Bolivia in May 2018.
The United States has 11 points after six of 14 games, with its three toughest games ahead: home against Mexico on November 12, plus away games in Mexico and Costa Rica.
“Right now we are on the right track,” Dest said.
Costa Rica, an aging team with a starting lineup that averaged over 30 years, has seven points. The Ticos had won all three of their previous qualifiers against the United States, helping to end a streak of seven consecutive United States World Cup appearances.
In subsequent games, Canada hosted Panama, Honduras was at home against Jamaica, and El Salvador was at home against Mexico.
A pro-American crowd of 20,165 attended the first international game at the more than $ 300 million Lower.com Field, which opened in July.
Berhalter only retained 18-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah and Weah from 21 of Sunday’s headlines.
Chris Richards, a 21-year-old central defender, had his first competitive start when the Americans lined up their youngest lineup in a World Cup qualifier in an average of 22 years and 229 days. That lowered the 23 years, 85 days since the 4-1 win in Honduras on Sept. 8.
Matthew Hoppe and Gianluca Busio entered the second half, joining Steffen and Richards to increase America’s qualifying debuts to 25 this cycle, behind only 1998 (29) and 2006 and 2010 (26 each). Richards was making his fourth international appearance.
Costa Rica started with five players 32 and older. Navas made his 99th international appearance and Celso Borges his 144th. Ticos coach Luis Fernando Suárez retained nine starters in Sunday’s 2-1 victory in El Salvador.
The Ticos scored after Steffen, Ederson’s substitute at Manchester City, headed the ball to the right flank but over Dest. Bryan Ruiz kept the ball in with a heel pass to Ronald Mattarita, who dribbled down the side and crossed. Just outside the six-yard box, Fuller volleyed with his right foot and the ball went on two rebounds inside the far post for his second international goal.
The United States had not conceded since Ronald de Boer of the Netherlands scored on a deflection by Alexi Lalas two minutes after a bad pass from Roy Wegerle opened a breakaway in the Dutch 2-0 victory in Miami on February 21, 1998. .
Dest ended a streak of eight straight firsts without an American goal.
Weah passed the ball to Musah on the right flank, and it passed to Dest. Given the time and space, Dest tapped three times as he sliced toward the center. Dest curled the ball around Mattarita with a left-footed shot just past Navas’ right hand for his second international goal.
The United States came close to allowing another goal when Miles Robinson made a slow and poor back pass to Richards in the 56th minute that was intercepted by Ruiz. Ruiz, 36, broke into only Steffen, but he lacks pace at his age, and Robinson was able to catch up and push the ball.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism