A win for team USA. And some goals. Finally.
Let’s break down the game from yesterday – a strong performance by the US offense, with 4 goals to show for their efforts, no one can argue their offensive grade of A.
Credit to the US certainly, but Costa Rica really missed Keylor Navas in net – only 4 shots (not counting the penalty) made it to the goalkeeper, and 3 ended up in the back of the net. There was no doubt some excellent finishing by US, but you have to wonder if Navas might have gotten across quicker to tip Jermaine Jones’ curler wide or if the Real Madrid man would have gotten a stronger hand on Bobby Wood’s goal, which Patrick Pemberton got to but couldn’t keep out.
From a possession perspective, the US still struggled to hold possession – a lot of their opportunities came from bad defensive turnovers by the Costa Ricans in their defensive third. Even then, many US shots were from distance – fun to watch blasts from 20m+ out end up in the back of the net, but hard to feel good about repeatability.
That said, 3 points is 3 points – and the US lives to fight another day.
So why should you care about today?
Brazil should have no problems getting past Haiti, but Ecuador will be tested against Peru in what could be a tighter game. There’s more – look for Brazil to push the score up against Haiti as goal differential is the tie-breaker in the group stage and Brazil could end level on points with Perú or Ecuador. There is a lot at stake – finishing second rather than winning this group will likely set up a very tough quarterfinal with the Colombians. A matchup which based on current team performance and form, the Colombians would be favored to win.