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2016 CAC: Strong first half lifts U.S. over Costa Rica
Clint Dempsey of the United States and Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica seek for the ball in the Copa América Centenario on June 7, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Concacaf)

MIAMI, Florida – This Friday at 7:00 PM ET, Concacaf will be airing a re-broadcast of two matches from the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the first being the all-Concacaf affair between the United States and Costa Rica, followed by Mexico versus Jamaica. Both matches will be shown on Concacaf’s Facebook and YouTube pages, plus the Concacaf App.

Heading into the contest between the U.S. and Costa Rica at Chicago’s Soldier Field, it was a must-win for both sides.

In their opening match, the U.S. fell 2-0 to Colombia, while Costa Rica had to settle for just a point in a frustrating 0-0 draw with Paraguay.

The opening minutes belonged to the Ticos, but things would suddenly change when Costa Rica DF Cristian Gamboa pushed down U.S. FW Bobby Wood in the area, resulting in a penalty and a conversion from FW Clint Dempsey in the 9’ for a 1-0 U.S. lead.

Momentum was now with the U.S., as the home side could sit back and wait to attack the Ticos on the counter. 

That approach would yield another two goals for the U.S. before halftime, first with Dempsey serving as playmaker and laying off a pass for MF Jermaine Jones, who curled in a right-footed shot in the 37’ for a 2-0 lead.

Five minutes later, Dempsey added a second assist, feeding Wood, who turned and fired in a right-footed strike to extend the advantage to 3-0 in the 42’.

Costa Rica looked to respond in the second half and nearly pulled a goal back when a MF Bryan Ruiz header glanced off the post.

That was then followed by a deep cross in front of the U.S. net that trickled behind a pair of Costa Rican players ready to pounce.

Soon enough, the U.S. were able to sew up the three points late on when substitute MF Graham Zusi nicked a ball away from the Costa Rican defense and did all the work himself, finishing with a left-footed shot to complete the 4-0 scoreline.
 

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