United States 4-0 Costa Rica: Young USA side rolls to friendly win

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

A youthful United States side had no trouble with Costa Rica on Wednesday, rolling to a 4-0 friendly victory at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah. 

USA head coach Gregg Berhalter made nine changes from the side that defeated Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League final on Sunday, naming a starting XI with an average age of 23 years, 278 days. 

With stars Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie resting on the bench, two USA players scored their first international goals in a match that was never in doubt. 

Brenden Aaronson opened the scoring after eight minutes, rushing into the area to drive a rebound past Leonel Moreira after Daryl Dike's shot attempt was blocked by a Costa Rica defender. 

Three minutes before the interval, Dike slipped behind the Costa Rica defense and eased a shot past the onrushing Moreira for his first international goal and a 2-0 USA lead at the break. 

Early in the second half, Reggie Cannon opened his international account as well, slotting home a left-footed shot after intercepting a careless Costa Rica pass. 

Moments after coming on as a substitute in the 75th minute, 18-year-old Gio Reyna drew a penalty on a foul by Keysher Fuller in the box and converted for his fourth USA goal. 

Ethan Horvath got the start in goal for the USA on his 26th birthday after his stunning 120th-minute penalty save on Mexico's Andres Guardado on Sunday and turned in a clean sheet. 

Costa Rica are now winless in their last 11 matches (2D, 9L) dating to a 2-1 victory over Curacao in November 2019. 

Related items

  • Stafford after beating Brady's Bucs: I live for those kinds of moments Stafford after beating Brady's Bucs: I live for those kinds of moments

    Matthew Stafford revelled in "stealing somebody's soul" after he helped the Los Angeles Rams end the Tamp Bay Buccaneers' playoff hopes.

    The Rams prevailed 30-27 over last season's Super Bowl champions on Sunday to reach the NFC Championship game, which will be a matchup between two underdogs after the San Francisco 49ers' win over the Green Bay Packers.

    Yet it could very well have gone badly wrong for Los Angeles, who had led 27-3 until a Tom Brady-inspired comeback from the Bucs in the final quarter.

    Brady connected with Mike Evans for a 55-yard touchdown pass, with the possibility of a turnaround that would rank as the joint-fourth largest in postseason history coming into view.

    Evans' score made the game 27-20 and another Rams mistake allowed the Bucs to level the scores through Leonard Fournette.

    Yet Stafford had other ideas, with the 33-year-old – who joined from the Detroit Lions ahead of this season – combining with wide receiver Cooper Kupp to set up a Matt Gray field goal.

    "In my mind, I live for those kinds of moments," said Stafford, who has now made 43 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. That is the most of any player since the QB first featured in the NFL in 2009.

    "I would have loved to have been taking a knee up three scores, but it's a whole lot more fun when you've got to make a play like that to win the game and just steal somebody's soul.

    "That's what it feels like sometimes where they're sitting there going, 'Man, we just had this great comeback.' And you get to reach in there and take it from them. That's a whole lot of fun."

    Stafford threw for 366 yards against Tampa Bay, a high mark for the season, besting his previous high of 365 set against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5 and bringing up the third-highest yardage in a single postseason game in Rams history.

    He also threw for two touchdowns, rushed another and registered a pass completion rate of 73.7 per cent, finding his target with 28 of 38 attempts.

    One of those touchdown passes was a 70-yard combination with Kupp, who led the way in the regular season for receiving yards (1,947), receiving touchdowns (16) and receptions (145).

    However, Kupp was not happy with how the Rams' offense performed in the midst of Tampa Bay’s fightback.

    "As an offense, we first and foremost did a terrible job of executing for this team in the second half," Kupp said.

    "We can't do the things that we did. Put our defense, our team in a really bad spot."

    Yet head coach Sean McVay was happy to reflect on a thrilling win, saying: "That's why you play four quarters and try to finish that game out.

    "That was something else. That was something else.

    "Those guys did a great job. I thought Matthew Stafford was unbelievable throughout the whole day. Just his poise, his command, his decision-making."

  • Heat rise after downing LeBron's Lakers, Embiid extends hot streak as 76ers win Heat rise after downing LeBron's Lakers, Embiid extends hot streak as 76ers win

    LeBron James had a double-double but it was not enough for the fast-finishing Los Angeles Lakers to overcome his former side the Miami Heat who won 113-107 on Sunday.

    The Heat led by 23 points but the Lakers charged home with 37-24 points down the stretch.

    James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Lakers, while Russell Westbrook had 24 points and nine rebounds.

    Jimmy Butler starred for the Heat, breaking James' franchise record for triple-doubles with his 22 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

    The Heat are top of the Eastern Conference with a 30-17 record, while the Lakers drop below .500 with a 23-24 record.

     

    Embiid continues scoring streak

    Joel Embiid continued his hot streak with a double-double as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the San Antonio Spurs 115-109. Embiid had 38 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, extending his 14-game run of 25 points or more.

    Luka Doncic had a double-double with 37 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Dallas Mavericks won 104-91 over the Memphis Grizzlies, for whom Ja Morant had 35 points and 13 rebounds, while the Golden State Warriors won 94-92 over the Utah Jazz, despite only 11 fourth-quarter points.

    Jayson Tatum scored 51 points, including 48 in the first three quarters, as the Boston Celtics won 116- 87 over the Washington Wizards, while DeMar DeRozan had 41 points as the short-handed Chicago Bulls' slide continued with a 114-95 loss to the lowly Orlando Magic.

     

    Harden subdued as Nets cut down

    James Harden shot four-of-13 for the game as the Brooklyn Nets were downed 136-125 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Harden only managed 13 points, while Kyrie Irving had 30 points with six rebounds and five assists.

  • Mahomes lifts Chiefs past Allen's Bills in seesawing overtime thriller Mahomes lifts Chiefs past Allen's Bills in seesawing overtime thriller

    Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a game-winning touchdown in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs reached the AFC Championship game for the fourth straight season beating the Buffalo Bills 42-36 on Sunday.

    The Bills thought they had wrapped up the victory when quarterback Josh Allen found Gabriel Davis for his record-breaking fourth touchdown to lead 36-33 with 17 seconds left.

    But the Chiefs rallied their way down the field led by Mahomes, getting within field-goal range with Harrison Butker sending it to over-time.

    Mahomes was heroic, throwing for 177 yards after the two-minute warning, with three lead changes inside the final two minutes, before Butker's tying field goal.

    The composed Chiefs QB, who completed 33 of 44 attempts for 378 yards with three touchdowns as well as 69 rushing yards including a TD, found Kelce in the corner to settle the game 4:15 into overtime after they had won the crucial overtime coin flip.

    Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Tyreek Hill also scored TDs, the latter restoring the Chiefs' lead in the final two minutes after Allen had combined with Davis.

    Allen completed 27 of 37 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Davis had eight catches for 201 yards and four TDs. Running back Devin Singletary scored the Bills' other TD.

    The Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead on Sunday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.