U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter changed his lineup significantly, inserting goalkeeper Zack Steffen among nine changes to the starting 11 following Sunday’s 1-0 loss away to Panama as his team looked to pick up a needed three points against a veteran Costa Rica team.
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“I was like, I have to shoot it,” Dest said. “I was just so happy We needed that goal. It was a really important goal. Right now we are on track.”
The home side continued to pile on the pressure after conceding early, but Costa Rica did not go away and saw a penalty shout waved off as half-time approached when Chris Richards appeared to trip up Johan Venegas in the area after a poor giveaway by the U.S. defense.
A Costa Rica own goal saw the U.S. take the lead after the hour mark, when Timothy Weah‘s well-struck shot from a tight angle came back off the post and bounced off backup keeper Leonel Moreira, who came on for the injured Navas, before trickling into the net.
Paris Saint-Germain keeper Navas injured his right adductor muscle and was replaced by Moreira at half-time.
The U.S. had Costa Rica scrambling after it took the lead and saw several near chances go begging before seeing out the victory to move up to 11 points from six matches in the team’s quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The three points was all the more impressive given the Americans fielded their youngest lineup ever in a World Cup qualifier, averaging 22 years, 229 days
Next up for Berhalter and the Americans is a huge Octagonal match against Mexico on Nov. 12 in Cincinnati (watch live on ESPN2 at 9:10 p.m. ET). The U.S. will visit Jamaica four days later.
Over its final six matches, the U.S. must travel to Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.