The USA vs Costa Rica Gold Cup match ended in a 1-0 win for the Americans. In a match that was played at the Rentschler Field in Hartford in Connecticut, both squads started the game with many substitutes. There were changes in both sides offensively, which may have affected the intensity of the match. Nonetheless, the game lived a great ending when in the 81st minute Brek Shea who came in as a substitute scored the winning goal after a fantastic counterattack.
The game began with both teams trying to understand each other’s tactics. While the United States was showing some signs of offense, Costa Rica styled a very intelligent defensive system while playing on the counter-attack. The first half demonstrated a very tight contest between two teams that did not want to leave many holes on defense.
In the second 45 minutes, the game became more aggressive, both offensive and physically. Both teams began to attack more, as they knew the first place seed is significant to go deep into the tournament. With the United States attacking, Costa Rica was defending well. That ended in the 81st minute when after a close attack by the ‘ticos’, the Americans took a quick counter-attack down the right side of the field which left Brek Shea alone in front of the goalie. He scored easily, with that, the USA won the game, and the group.
With the 1-0 win, The United States earned a perfect 9 out of 9 points to begin the Gold Cup 2013. They won Group C, while Costa Rica finished in second with six points, Cuba in 3rd with 3, and Belize in last with none. Out of Group C, in the quarterfinals the United States will play El Salvador, while Costa Rica will face Honduras. If both teams were to win their respective games, they will once again meet, but in the semifinals. Cuba also accessed the next round after a surprising 4-0 win over Belize. It is not surprising that they won, but rather, that they were able to score enough goals to knock Martinique out for one of the two 3rd place seeds; they will face Panama in the quarterfinals.