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Costa Rica 2-0 USA: summary, stats and highlights | 2022 World Cup qualifying

The United States lost 2-0 to Costa Rica on the final day of qualifiers, but still punched their ticket to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

The United States lost 2-0 to Costa Rica on the final day of qualifiers, but still punched their ticket to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Jeremy ReperUSA TODAY Sports

The United States is back in the World Cup for the first time in eight years despite their loss to Costa Rica. Los Ticos beat the US team 2-0, but the red, white and blue still sealed their spot in this winter’s World Cup Qatar.

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US had big margin of error coming into the night

With a comfortable cushion coming into tonight, USA knew they didn’t have to win or even draw. In fact, they just had to avoid a six goal margin of defeat to secure their spot in Qatar.

The United States Men’s National Team last went to the World Cup Finals in Brazil 2014 when they reached the Round of 16 before getting knocked out by Belgium in extra time.

After a tumultuous qualifying run in 2017, the USMNT’s hopes for a place in Russia 2018 were shattered by Trinidad & Tobago when they lost 2-1. The loss wasn’t enough to keep them out of the World Cup, but it just so happened that Panama and Honduras both won their games against Costa Rica and Mexico to catapult into qualifying position on the final day.

Heartbreak ensued around the country as the United States’ streak of seven straight World Cup Finals reached was snapped.

No heartbreak on final matchday of qualifiers

Pretty much anything other than a 6 goal margin of defeat would have moved the United States on to somewhere they haven’t been in eight years. While the pressure wasn’t on like it was in the 2018 in the final match of qualifying against Trinidad & Tobago they still needed on result on the final match day of the qualifiers.

While the result didn’t go in their favor and their play certainly didn’t convince against the Costa Rican side, Gregg Berhalter’s men made sure there would be no final day daggers, despite having to sweat it out during the final minutes of the 90 from Estadio Nacional.

Juan Pablo Vargas scored in the 51st minute to take the 1-0 lead, and then Anthony Contreras doubled the advantage eight minutes later to make the United States have to stress the final thirty minutes of the match.

Canada wins group, Costa Rica to play-off

The US will settle for a third place finish in CONCACAF after finishing qualifiers with 25 points. Costa Rica will have to play in the inter-confederation play-offs after finishing fourth. Canada finished on top of the table as even though Mexico ended qualifiers even on points with 28 on the final match day.

The 2022 World Cup draw will take place at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, April 1 from the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar. The quest for the World Cup starts on November 21 and ends on December 18th.


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