In an eye-opening result, the United States Men’s Soccer team bounced back from a 2-0 loss to Colombia to beat Costa Rica 4-0 in their second match during Copa America Centenario.
Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood and Graham Zusi found the back of Costa Rica’s net and that was more than enough scoring for the United States in front of Brad Guzan in goal.
Costa Rica came into the match ranked 23rd by FIFA, eight spots ahead of the United States. That said, the end result was less eye-popping than the matter in which the U.S. outplayed Costa Rica –- especially in the first half. After a lackluster offensive performance against Colombia to open Copa America Centenario at Levi’s Stadium, the United States was much more potent against their CONCACAF rivals.
The United States opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Wood drew a foul in the box while leaping high for a header attempt on the back post. Dempsey stepped up and executed the penalty kick for the 1-0 lead.
The goal was Dempsey’s 50th in a U.S. uniform and his first Copa America tally.
The next 20 minutes was high intensity, attacking soccer with the U.S. earning the clearer looks at goal. Team USA was rewarded when Dempsey penetrated down the middle of the field and dropped a ball off to Jones on the left side just outside the 18-yard box. Jones calmly slotted the ball to the bottom left of the Costa Rica goal to make it 2-0 in the 37th minute.
The U.S. capped an impressive first half when Wood turned and fired a shot just inside the 18 to beat Patrick Pemberton to the near side for the 3-0 advantage.
Zusi added a fourth goal in the 87th minute after he stole the ball deep in Costa Rica’s zone and drove towards goal before powering a shot past Pemberton.
Guzan faced seven shots in the match – just two on target – for his clean sheet.
Turning point: The 2-0 lead in soccer is a tricky one, so to have Wood score just before halftime was huge for the United States. Wood’s goal was the sixth of his international career.
Man of the Match: While he no longer wears the captain’s armband, Dempsey played like a superstar with something to prove against Costa Rica. Dempsey was a factor the three first-half goals for the United States.
San Jose Earthquakes report: Chris Wondolowski did not start but did earn his 33rd cap when he came in for Wood in the 78th minute.
Attendance: Reported attendance at Soldier Field in Chicago was 39,642 after more than 67,000 saw the United States play in Santa Clara last week to kick off Copa America Centenario.
Up Next: The United States suddenly finds itself in contention to advance out of Group A. Up next, a visit to Philadelphia to take on Paraguay on June 11.