SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (October 8, 2005) — Costa Rica joined the U.S. and Mexico from CONCACAF in booking their ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup on Saturday night with a 3-0 victory over the U.S. Men’s National Team in front of a sold out crowd at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.
Paulo Wanchope scored the game winner in the 34th minute, and Carlos Hernandez came on as a second half sub to score twice as the U.S. was handed their first three goal defeat in World Cup qualifying since a 5-1 loss to Mexico in November of 1980. The last three goal defeat for the U.S. in any competition was a 4-1 loss to Denmark on January 22, 1997 in the Gold Cup.
Wanchope’s goal ended a shutout streak for the U.S. in qualifying that dated to March 27 vs. Mexico spanning 631 minutes.
“First of all, congratulations to Costa Rica. They deserved to qualify for the World Cup,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena who suffered his first three-goal defeat in 115 games at the helm. “I thought for large segments of the game, play was even. In the first half, we had the better of the chances.
“Some mistakes were made that more experienced players would not have made but, overall, I accomplished the objective of watching certain combinations of players play together.”
Costa Rica sent their home crowd into a frenzy in the 34th minute as a great through ball found Alvaro Saborio streaking into the right side of the area and bringing his marker with him. Saborio lunged and touched off a shot that Tim Howard dove to his right to make a touch save, but an unmarked Wanchope slid to beat Howard to the rebound with his foot to score his Costa Rican record 43rd international goal in his 66th appearance.
The U.S. appeared to level the score at 1-1 in the 39th minute after Bobby Convey drew a foul at the top left corner of the area. Eddie Lewis took the free kick and found Eddie Pope at the back post who headed the ball across the six yard box. There the ball hit the chest of Walter Centeno and fell right to the foot of Taylor Twellman who tapped the ball into the back of the net at the left post but was flagged for offside.
Hernandez came on as a sub in the 59th minute and immediately put his stamp on the match with a 20-yard strike. Ronald Gomez fed the ball to Hernandez five yards outside of the penalty area, and he touched the ball past DaMarcus Beasley who tried to intercept but got there late. With no one between him and goal, Hernandez took a pair of touches before drilling the ball off the inside of the left post.
In the 79th minute, Twellman almost struck for his first U.S. goal. Bobby Convey played across an in-swinging corner kick that found the striker unmarked at the top of the six yard box. Twellman headed the ball down on goal, but defender Jervis Drummond was in the right place to clear the ball off the goal line.
Hernandez closed out the scoring in the 88th minute with a rocketed volley that went off the underside of the crossbar in the upper left corner of the net. Gilberto Martinez took a free kick and sent it long into the area where Oguchi Onyewu headed it out. Hernandez stepped up and volleyed the ball first time for his second goal of the night.
Carlos Bocanegra and Eddie Lewis picked up yellow cards in the second half and will serve suspensions for their second yellow card in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday when the U.S. takes on Panama in Foxboro, Mass. live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. Onyewu was also booked for the U.S.
Tim Howard returned for the U.S. after a 13-month hiatus and started for the U.S. in his second World Cup qualifying appearance. Pope moved into a second-place tie with Claudio Renya for all-time World Cup qualifying appearances with 31. Kasey Keller is the all-time U.S. leader with 32.
The match was the 50th played by the U.S. since the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the team has a 31-8-11 record, including shutouts in 28 of those matches. With the loss, the U.S. continues their winless streak in Costa Rica in qualifying, now at seven games with an 0-6-1 record. Overall, the U.S. is 11-10-4 against the Ticos.
In the rest of CONCACAF, Mexico reclaimed the top spot in the region with a 5-2 win against Guatemala. The Chapines drop a spot to fifth in the standings, after Trinidad and Tobago defeated Panama by a 1-0 scoreline. While CONCACAF'S three automatic berths have been decided, the fourth place team, who will have a play off against the fifth place team from Asia, could come down to the final match. Guatemala currently sits fifth with eight points, two behind Trinidad and Tobago, but could still overcome the Trinidadians with a win against Costa Rica on Wednesday if Trinidad loses to Mexico.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Costa Rica
Date: October 8, 2005
Competition: FIFA World Cup qualifier
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa – San Jose, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT
Attendance: 30,000 (sell out)
Weather: 67 degrees, torrential rains
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CRC 1 2 3
USA 0 0 0
CRC – Paulo Wanchope (Alvaro Saborio) 34th minute
CRC – Carlos Hernandez (Ronald Gomez) 60.
CRC – Carlos Hernandez 88.
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 23-Eddie Pope, 4-Carlos Bocanegra (10-Kyle Martino, 75); 5-Chris Albright (21-Santino Quaranta, 63), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-Eddie Lewis (capt.), 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 15-Bobby Convey; 20-Taylor Twellman, 9-Brian Ching
Subs not used: 24-Kevin Hartman, 3-Wade Barrett, 8-Jonathan Spector, 12-Danny Califf, 13-Ricardo Clark,
Head Coach: Bruce Arena.
CRC: 18-Jose Porras; 3-Luis Marin (capt.), 5-Gilberto Martinez, 2-Jervis Drummond, 12 Leonardo Gonzalez;
8-Mauricio Solis (20-Douglas Sequiera, 59), 10-Walter Centeno, 11-Ronald Gomez, 15-Harold Wallace; 19-Alvaro Saborio (16-Carlos Hernandez, 59), 9-Paulo Wanchope (21-Winston Parks, 76)
Subs not used: 1-Alvaro Mesen, 4-Michael Umana, , 17-Roy Myrie, 22-Jafet Soto
Head Coach: Alexandre Guimaeres
Stats Summary: USA CRC
Shots 8 10
Saves 2 1
Corner Kicks 8 5
Fouls 20 18
Offside 3 3
CRC – Mauricio Solis (caution) 35th minute
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 51.
USA – Oguchi Onyewu (caution) 54.
CRC – Jose Porras (caution) 68.
USA – Eddie Lewis (caution) 71.
CRC – Paulo Wanchope (caution) 74.
Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
1st Asst.: Jose Ramirez (MEX)
2nd Asst.: Leon Rebollar (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jorge Gasso (MEX)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Eddie Lewis