U.S. unable to overcome poor start in Costa Rica

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Updated: 9/06/2013 11:58 pm

San Jose, Costa Rica (Sports Network) - The United States men's national team conceded two goals in the first 10 minutes en route to a 3-1 World Cup qualifying defeat at Costa Rica on Friday, dropping the team into second place in the CONCACAF table.

Costa Rica was looking for a bit of revenge after a 1-0 qualifying defeat in March against the Americans in snowy conditions in Colorado.

And the home side started quickly with a Johnny Acosta header putting them ahead in the opening two minutes.

Celso Borges then doubled the advantage for Costa Rica in the ninth minute before Clint Dempsey's first-half penalty kick pulled the Americans to within a goal at halftime.

The U.S. was pressing for an equalizer after the break, but Joel Campbell's goal 15 minutes from time restored the two-goal advantage and moves Costa Rica one point clear of Jurgen Klinsmann's team with three matches remaining.

Klinsmann had to shuffle his team just before the kickoff as midfielder Michael Bradley injured his ankle in warm-ups, while forward Jozy Altidore started the game on the bench due to a hamstring injury.

Costa Rica came out strong in the opening minutes and made the most of an early corner kick as Campbell drove the ball to the near post where Acosta turned a header past defender DaMarcus Beasley.

The Americans were still recovering from the first goal when they found themselves 2-0 down in the ninth minute.

Christian Bolanos provided the cross from the left wing and Borges placed a header back across the face of goal and inside the left post.

Fabian Johnson earned a penalty kick in the 41st for the visitors after being brought down by goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and Dempsey stepped forward and scored despite Navas getting a hand to the shot.

An equalizer nearly came in the 56th when Dempsey curled a shot off the post from the edge of the penalty area, but Costa Rica found an important insurance tally in the 75th.

A long clearance from the back allowed Campbell to beat U.S. defender Matt Besler to the ball and he tucked his shot between the legs of goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The U.S. is now 0-8-1 in World Cup qualifiers at Costa Rica and the team will hope to bounce back with a big game against Mexico on Tuesday.

The Mexicans will be a desperate side after a stunning 2-1 home defeat to Honduras on Friday.

After taking the lead in the sixth minute through a goal from Oribe Peralta, Mexico saw Jerry Bengtson and Carlos Costly score two minutes apart in the second half for Honduras, which becomes the first team since Costa Rica in 2001 to win a World Cup qualifier at the Azteca Stadium.

Mexico will enter the match in fourth place, with Panama one point behind El Tri after a 0-0 draw with Jamaica in Friday's other qualifier.

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