U.S. Rallies to Beat Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifier

1 week ago 23

United States 2, Costa Rica 1

Sergiño Dest scored 1 extremity and acceptable up different arsenic the United States regained its stride with a ascendant show successful World Cup qualifying.

The United States picked up   its 2nd  triumph   successful  a week. Next up? Mexico adjacent  month.
Credit...Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Andrew Keh

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:18 p.m. ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A spectator astatine a United States men’s shot crippled could person a reasonably enjoyable clip simply watching Sergiño Dest arsenic helium goes astir the concern of playing close back.

The 20-year-old Dest’s execution of elemental acts connected a shot tract — moving around, trapping a ball, fiddling with it astatine his feet, directing it to teammates — oozes style. He has a bottomless instrumentality kit of tricks. He has a marionettist’s power of the shot — and sometimes helium has brainsick ideas of what to bash with it.

For each his skills, the question astir Dest — raised by coaches for some the nationalist squad and his club, Barcelona — has been if helium could assemble each of these gifts and tools and explicit them consistently arsenic effectual performances, if helium could debar intelligence lapses and support his attraction connected the field, if helium could alteration games by himself.

For 1 supremely entertaining night, Dest did conscionable that, scoring a superb game-tying goal, coolly creating the victor and mostly delighting the assemblage to assistance pb the United States to a 2-1 comeback triumph implicit Costa Rica successful a World Cup qualifying lucifer connected Wednesday nighttime successful Columbus, Ohio.

Upon being substituted successful the 2nd half, Dest made 1 past enchanting gesture: Exiting the tract connected the acold sideline, helium took his clip strolling astir the perimeter of the playing area, waving his arms to rile up the assemblage arsenic the crippled continued down him. When helium got to the sideline adjacent the benches, helium high-fived each instrumentality helium could, and a fewer information guards, with a immense grin connected his face.

The fans indulged him the full mode with boisterous cheers.

The welcoming environs and a sellout assemblage of 20,165 seemed to invigorate the full United States team, which was looking to bounce backmost from a spiritless 1-0 loss successful Panama connected Sunday.

The squad has travel to presumption Columbus arsenic a benignant of unofficial nationalist location due to the fact that of the reliably large and supportive crowds it tends to gully here, and due to the fact that it has been the tract of a signifier of affirmative results: Out of 10 erstwhile World Cup qualifiers successful Columbus since 2000, the U.S. had won 7 entering Wednesday.

The fans — their voices amplified successful the stadium by a cozy seating statement and partial extortion — were inactive moving done a theatrical, slow-build “U-S-A!” chant, timed each crippled for the opening whistle, erstwhile Costa Rica jumped to a stunning lead.

Flitting toward the U.S. extremity successful the archetypal minute, Costa Rica defender Keysher Fuller leapt successful the aerial to deed a transverse with his close foot. Though the interaction was not clean, the shot skipped erratically disconnected the grass, done a tiny crowd, and into the nett past U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who had stood frozen connected the enactment due to the fact that of the creeping menace of Costa Rica guardant Jonathan Moya successful the box. Steffen instantly ran to the sideline to reason that Moya had been offside, but it appeared that Dest, who had been drawn crossed the extremity line, distant from the play, had kept the Costa Rican attackers onside.

Dest would redeem himself successful spectacular manner successful the 25th minute. Receiving the shot connected the close wing, helium dribbled menacingly toward the box, caressing the shot with his close foot, earlier cutting it rapidly to his near and lashing a changeable with his weaker ft into the precocious near country of the goal. The formation of the shot into the nett triggered an eruption of sound from the location assemblage and sent Dest sprinting to the sideline, wherever helium was mobbed by his teammates and coaches.

As overmuch arsenic the extremity itself, Gregg Berhalter, the U.S. coach, mightiness person been delighted by the buildup to it, a sweeping 13-pass determination involving 9 American players that started successful the midfield, swung backmost to Steffen successful goal, charged down the near broadside of the tract and ended connected the right. Before Dest’s changeable went in, the U.S. had gone 428 minutes without a first-half goal.

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Credit...Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

A fewer days ago, Berhalter had joked with reporters that they were apt bushed of proceeding him usage the connection “verticality,” a notation to a direct-approach tactical conception that helium had invoked repeatedly successful a drawstring of quality conferences.

Imagine however often the players had heard it. The U.S. has looked lackluster successful onslaught astatine times implicit the past 2 months, but the conception seemed to resonate connected Wednesday night. Dest’s extremity highlighted 1 of the champion halves of attacking play from the Americans successful caller memory, 1 that exhibited each the violative tenets Berhalter had been preaching, publically and down closed doors, for weeks: persistent and purposeful question without the ball, speedy interchanges, a wide consciousness of urgency pushing toward, and behind, an opponent’s backmost line.

The go-ahead extremity came successful the 66th minute. A misplay by a Costa Rican defender near the shot bobbling to the feet of Dest, who collected it, looked up astatine his surroundings, and skimmed a perfectly weighted walk into the way of Timothy Weah, who belted it toward the goal.

The play was aboriginal ruled an ain extremity by the Costa Rica goalkeeper, Leonel Moreira, but Weah celebrated it arsenic his own, sprinting to clasp a pouch of fans successful the corner.

Dest joined him there, getting pats connected the caput from the fans, reveling successful a show wherever helium enactment each his tantalizing skills to devastating use.

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