USMNT dealt shocking home loss by Costa Rica in World Cup qualifier

US hopes of reaching eighth straight World Cup berth in peril after loss to Costa Rica

US hopes of reaching eighth straight World Cup berth in peril after loss to Costa Rica

HARRISON, N.J.-There was no sugarcoating it.

The U.S. failed to create golden opportunities, and Keylor Navas produced a fantastic save on a deflected Christian Pulisic shot when it was 1-0, as Costa Rica shocked CONCACAF and took all three points. The U.S. attacking on set plays, normally a strong point, produced nearly nothing, and playmaker Christian Pulisic went down hard under the force of several fouls.

Christian Pulisic has become the focal point of the USMNT attack over the a year ago.

"He had a tough game today and obviously they paid a lot of attention to him", Arena said of Pulisic.

"It's not complete yet but this is a very important step", Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said through a translator. "I thought they outplayed us and outcoached us tonight".

Sure the home side carried much of the play, but for Costa Rica that was by design, and midfielders Celso Borges, David Guzman, Christian Bolanos, along with forward Bryan Ruiz, were still more effective than their USA counterparts. They kept numbers behind the ball and waited to hit on the counter, and found some success in doing so in the opening half-hour.

The U.S. were made to pay on the half-hour mark, when an inch-perfect through ball sprang Urena and the San Jose Earthquakes striker cut to his right and fired a shot past Tim Howard to put the Ticos in front.

Bruce Arena said before the match that "we know that all hell breaks loose if we lose". I think he got a little frustrated.

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Ureña's opener hurt the US twofold.

Arena repeatedly hectored Panamanian referee John Pitti, who did not call penalty kicks when Altidore was pushed to the ground in the first half and Clint Dempsey was knocked down in the second. Still, the USA managed to only create near-chances and not concrete ones.

In the 23rd minute, Pulisic finally got behind the defense up the right.

Urena scored in the 30th and 82nd minutes, the latter coming a minute after Navas came to the edge of the goal box to deny Jozy Altidore the tying goal. Then Cameron's bad pass and slow reaction helped set up Marco Urena's second goal of the night. Clint Dempsey came on in the 65th minute trying to find the 58th goal of his global career, and after he hit a free kick into the wall, Christian Pulisic had the best chance for the United States to that point but his shot was denied by Keylor Navas. "You have to give credit to them". Bet: the victory of the U.S. team - P1. Look, you've got to regroup, take it for what it is on the chin.

Going forward, the USA looked to counter quickly through Pulisic, but the teenager rarely had support.

The U.S.is third with eight points, ahead of Honduras on goal difference.

Three teams will earn automatic berths to Russian Federation next summer, and with Costa Rica and Mexico pulling away from the pack, the United States will jostle with Honduras and Panama for final spot. Since he plays for Costa Rica, the midfielder quickly put the ball right back down Cameron's throat, playing Urena through the center for the easiest of finishes. "The pressure is back on us".