October 25, 2021

Dest, Weah rally U.S. past Costa Rica in World Cup qualifier

View Original Notice ? Dest, Weah rally U.S. past Costa Rica in World Cup qualifier

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  • Tyler Adams of the United States heads the ball against Keysher Fuller of Costa Rica during the first half of their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Ricardo Blanco #2 of Costa Rica slides for control of the ball against Weston McKennie #8 of the United States during the first half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Costa Rica's Keysher Fuller, right, celebrates his goal against the United States with teammates during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Costa Rica celebrates a goal by Keysher Fuller one minute into the first half of their World Cup qualifier against the United State on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • A Costa Rica fan holds up a scarf during the national anthem before a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against the United States at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Antonee Robinson of the United States controls the ball during the first half of their World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Jonathan Moya #21 of Costa Rica and Chris Richards #15 of the United States jump to head the ball during the first half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • The United States' Yunus Musah, right, tries to dribble past Costa Rica's Yeltsin Tejeda during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Keylor Navas #1 of Costa Rica reacts during the first half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against the United States at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Costa Rica's Keysher Fuller, left, chases United States' Antonee Robinson up the field during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Costa Rica's Ricardo Blanco, left, and United States' Weston McKennie chase the ball during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Brenden Aaronson, center, passes the ball between Costa Rica's Ronald Matarrita, left, and Francisco Calvo during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Yunus Musah, left, kicks the ball past Costa Rica's Ronald Matarrita during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Sergino Dest, left, dribbles the ball upfield as Costa Rica's Ronald Matarrita defends during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Sergino Dest (2) celebrates his goal against Costa Rica with teammates during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Costa Rica's Jonathan Moya, left, and United States' Chris Richards jump for a header during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Costa Rica's Keysher Fuller celebrates his goal against the United States during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Ronald Matarrita #22 of Costa Rica and Tyler Adams #4 of the United States fight for control of the ball during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Team USA's Tyler Adams, left, and Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz chase the ball during the second half of their World Cup qualifying match on Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. The U.S. won, 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Tim Weah, right, celebrates his goal against Costa Rica during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Miles Robinson, left, and Costa Rica's Jonathan Moya jump for a head ball during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter communicates to players during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen reacts during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Gyasi Zardes #9 of the United States jumps to head the ball against Francisco Calvo #15 of Costa Rica during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Ricardo Pepi #16 of the United States lunges for the ball against Francisco Calvo #15 of Costa Rica during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Weston McKennie #8 of the United States controls the ball during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Weston McKennie #8 of the United States grabs Keysher Fuller #4 of Costa Rica shoulder during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Bryan Ruiz #10 of Costa Rica and Miles Robinson #12 of the United States fight for control of the ball during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Bryan Ruiz #10 of Costa Rica and Chris Richards #15 of the United States fight for control of the ball during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Costa Rica head coach Luis Fernando Suárez watches in the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against the United States at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Bryan Ruiz #10 of Costa Rica reacts after losing control of the ball during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against the United States at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Jonathan Moya #21 of Costa Rica collides with Miles Robinson #12 of the United States during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • U.S. players celebrate a goal during the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • United States fans sing the national anthem before a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match against Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Costa Rica's Ronald Matarrita, left, controls the ball as United States' Tim Weah defends during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Zack Steffen dives on a ball to make a save against Costa Rica during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Gyasi Zardes, left, and Costa Rica's Francisco Calvo jump for a head ball during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The U.S. team celebrates a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica during a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • The United States' Walker Zimmerman acknowledges the fans after a 2-1 win over Costa Rica during a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • Fans celebrate after the United States defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • The United States' Tim Weah, left, gives his jersey to a fan as he leaves the World Cup qualifying soccer match against Costa Rica during the second half Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 2-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • Gyasi Zardes of the United States reacts after a 2-1 win over Costa Rica during a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

  • A general view during the first half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match between the United States and Costa Rica at Lower.com Field on October 13, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

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By RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sixty seconds in, Costa Rica was celebrating and the U.S. World Cup campaign was spinning out of control.

Sergiño Dest and Tim Weah, two young Americans unscarred by the failure of four years ago, got them back on track.

Shoelaces untied, Dest curled an 18-yard, left-footed shot past Keylor Navas in the 25th minute. Weah deflected the go-ahead goal off backup goalkeeper Leonel Moreiera in the 66th, and the U.S. exhaled with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night that eased pressure as qualifying neared the halfway point.

“We can’t lose again,” the 20-year-old Dest said. “We needed it really bad,”

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, one of nine new starters inserted following Sunday’s dismal 1-0 loss at Panama, made a costly headed clearance that led to Keysher Fuller’s goal 60 seconds in, the fastest goal conceded by the U.S. in 23 years.

Dest ended a streak of eight straight first halves without an American goal following a pass from Yunus Musah on the right flank after Weah had switched the ball from the opposite side. Dest cut toward the center and curled the ball just beyond Navas’ outstretched right hand.

Navas left at halftime because of a strained adductor muscle

Weah, a 21-year-old son of Liberia President and former FIFA Player of the Year George Weah, joined the lineup about five minutes before kickoff after Paul Arriola injured his right groin during warmups.

“Everything was kind of a rush. I had to warm up, get ready quick,” Weah said.

With Matthew Hoppe on the touchline about to replace Weah, Weston McKennie passed to Dest, who dished to Weah. His 10-yard shot from an angle bounced off a diving Moreira and inside the near post.

“It just so happened that the ball came out wide to Serge, and I saw the run,” Weah said. “I just hit it one time, and it happened to go in.”

Weah originally was credited with a goal, but it was changed to an own goal by Moreira.

“We’ll talk to FIFA about that,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said.

The U.S. has 11 points after six of 14 matches, Mexico leads with 14 after its 2-0 win at El Salvador, and Canada has 10 after a 4-1 win over Panama, which has eight. The top three teams qualify for next year’s World Cup, and the fourth-place team advances to a playoff.

Costa Rica (six), El Salvador and Jamaica (five each) and Honduras (three) trail.

Berhalter was criticized for resting many front-line players in Panama, wanting fresh legs against the Ticos. Teams that win their home games usually qualify.

Steffen, a former Columbus keeper getting his first start in qualifying over Matt Turner, got in trouble when he headed a clearance over Dest in the first minute.

Bryan Ruiz kept the ball in with a backheel pass to Ronald Mattarita, who dribbled down the side and crossed. Just outside the 6-yard box, Fuller volleyed with his right foot, and the ball went in on two bounces inside the far post for his second international goal.

“I felt like the guy was in front of me and I thought he was offside,” Steffen said.

Fuller scored the fastest goal against the U.S. since the Netherlands’ Ronald de Boer on Feb. 21, 1998.

“My initial thought was: ‘Here we go. We got to respond,’” Berhalter said. “We challenged the guys to respond after a poor performance in Panama and this was going to be another element that we needed to respond to. It was early enough in the game that if we stayed calm and stuck to the game plan, I thought we’d be OK.”

Before a pro-American crowd of 20,165 at the first international match in $300 million-plus Lower.com Field, Costa Rica’s starting lineup averaged more than 30 years old. Ticos coach Luis Fernando Suárez retained nine starters from Sunday’s 2-1 win at El Salvador.

Berhalter fielded the youngest U.S. qualifying lineup at an average of 22 years, 229 days. He retained only 18-year-old Musah and Weah from Sunday’s starters and gave 21-year-old defender Chris Richards his first competitive start.

Hoppe, 20, entered in the 73rd and 19-year-old Gianluca Busio five minutes later. They joined Steffen and Richards to increase U.S. qualifying debuts to 25 in this cycle, trailing only 1998 (29), and 2006 and 2010 (26 each).

Sprightly muscles overcame the inexperience.

“All of World Cup qualifying is difficult. All of World Cup qualifying is challenging, and sometimes I feel like people forgot that,” Berhalter said. “People think it’s a cakewalk, and we’re going to play the youngest team in the history of U.S. soccer in a game and we’re just going to breeze through these games. It’s not realistic.”

NOTES

After Rolando Blackburn put Panama ahead in the fifth minute at Toronto, Amir Murillo’s own goal tied the score in the 28th. Alphonso Davies scored in the 66th, Tajon Buchanan in the 71st and Jonathan David in the 78th, his sixth goal in qualifying. … Kemar Roofe got his first international goal in the 38th minute and Oniel Fisher scored in the 79th at San Pedro Sula.

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