United States vs. Costa Rica – Football Match Report – June 10, 2021
The United States continued their good form with a 4-0 win over Costa Rica in a friendly game on Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
The Americans were coming off their epic 3-2 victory in the CONCACAF Nations League final over Mexico on Sunday, a game that extended into overtime and saw Christian Pulisic score the game-winning goal from the penalty spot.
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Defenders Tim Ream and Mark McKenzie were the only leftovers of US coach Gregg Berhalter having changed nine starters for Wednesday night’s exhibition, with Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Giovanni Reyna all on the bench.
The United States took the lead in less than 10 minutes when Red Bull Salzburg’s Brenden Aaronson finished a counterattack with a thunderous shot from close range after the ball fell to him in the penalty area.
Berhalter’s side dominated the proceedings throughout the first half and found a second just before the break with a finish made up of Daryl Dike – who will be back with Orlando City after his loan spell at Barnsley earlier this year.
It was Dike’s first senior international goal in his third appearance and the United States took a 2-0 lead in the locker room.
The hosts picked up where they left off after the break as Reggie Cannon jumped on a reckless pass from Costa Rica, rushed into the box and returned home with his left foot for his first international count in career.
Reyna, who scored in the win over Mexico, came off the substitutes bench and won, then converted a penalty to take the United States’ lead to four goals.
Defenseman Mark McKenzie, the target of racial abuse on the internet after a poor first half on Sunday, was the only player to start for the fourth game in a row and put in a bigger effort.
“I came out of the game with Mexico feeling extremely proud of Mark and the way he behaved,” said Berhalter. “He didn’t need to play another minute today and I would still have been proud of him.”
It was the fourth game in 11 grueling days for the United States, designed to mimic the compressed World Cup qualifiers scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was also the 11th win in America’s last 13 games in which they outscored their opponents 39-9.
The team traveled 5,400 miles between Europe and the western Rocky Mountains in the United States to play all four games, winning three times, including the CONCACAF Nations League Trophy. Twenty-four players took part in the action and eight scored.
The CONCACAF region’s 14-game final tournament opens for the United States on September 2 in El Salvador or St. Kitts and Nevis, followed by a home game on September 5 against Canada or Haiti and a September 8 game in Honduras.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.