With one game remaining, at Barbados on Nov. 15, the U.S. can clinch a spot in the final round of qualifying with a victory in the Carribean or a loss by Guatemala when they host Costa Rica on the same date in November. The U.S. can also clinch a spot in the final six-team qualifying group of six if Guatemala and Costa Rica tie, and the U.S. can maintain their current goal-differential advantage of Guatemala (currently plus 7 to Guatemala's plus 2).
The United States controlled play in the first half, and outshot Costa Rica by a 5-2 margin, but neither team could produce a dangerous shot on goal. The USA offense, led by the active play of Cobi Jones on the right flank and the interplay of forwards Joe-Max Moore and Ante Razov, held the ball in the Costa Rica end for most of the first half.
Costa Rica jumped out to a strong start in the first ten minutes of the second half, advancing into the American end several times. But the United States stormed back after Moore's header sailed just over the bar in the 56th minute, and the Americans regained their edge in possession for the remainder of the match.
With Bruce Arena serving the first of a three-game FIFA suspension stemming from the last meeting between the two regional rivals in San Jose, Costa Rica on July 23, 2000, the United States was managed in the match by acting head coach Dave Sarachan.
Sarachan went to his subs bench in the 68th minute and inserted a pair of young players who recently returned from the USA's Olympic squad in Sydney, and the Under-23 stars nearly made a difference in the scoreline. In the 77th minute Josh Wolff worked down the right side and spotted Chris Albright storming through the center of the penalty area, but the Costa Rican goalkeeper snared the cross. And in injury time, an apparent game-winner by Wolff was ruled offside.
USA goalkeeper Kasey Keller recorded his second consecutive World Cup qualifying shutout, and the 20th of his international career. A new-look three-man defensive alignment, led by Chevrolet Man of the Match Carlos Llamosa, held the Ticos to only two shots on goal.
In addition to Bruce Arena, three regular starters were missing from the United States lineup because of suspension. Claudio Reyna was handed a two-game ban by FIFA, Earnie Stewart served a one-game suspension after collecting two yellow cards in group play, and Eddie Lewis was absent after picking up a red card in the USA's last match against Guatemala. The U.S. was also missing forward Brian McBride, the American's leading active qualifying goal scorer, who was ruled out through injury.
The United States failed to find the back of the net for only the second time this year, and the match was the first scoreless encounter for the USA since January 25, 1999, when the Americans played a 0-0 draw in Bolivia.
A draw held in Guatemala in November will determine the order and country in which the following nations will meet in the next stage of qualifying: Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and two of the following, the United States, Costa Rica or Guatemala.
The United States will play its final Group "E" qualifier against Barbados at the National Stadium in Waterford, St. Michael, on November 15. Start time for the match will be determined by CONCACAF, and will coincide with the kickoff of the Costa Rica match in Guatemala.
2000 U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Men's National Team vs. Costa Rica National Team|
|Competition:||2002 World Cup CONCACAF Qualifying - Semifinal Round, Group E|
|Venue:||Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)|
|Date:||October 11, 2000 - Kickoff 8 p.m. (ET)|
|Weather:||60 degrees - Clear, Breezy|
USA - 18-Kasey Keller; 12-Jeff Agoos (Capt.), 3-Gregg Berhalter, 16-Carlos Llamosa; 14-Chris Armas, 15-Chad Deering, 13-Cobi Jones (20-Chris Albright, 68), 19-Jovan Kirovski (21-Josh Wolff, 69), 17-Tony Sanneh (7-Ben Olsen, 79); 11-Ante Razov, 9-Joe-Max Moore.
CRC - 18-Alvaro Messen; 2-Jervis Drummond, 16-Austin Berry, 21-Reynaldo Parks; 4-Alexander Madrigal, 7-Ronaldo Fonseca (8-Mauricio Solis, 70), 10-Walter Centeno, 11-Jafet Soto (20-William Sunsing, 81), 19-Rodrigo Cordero; 9-Paulo Wanchope, 17-Hernan Medford (Capt.) (22-Steven Bryce, 88).
|Gregg Berhalter (caution)||86.|