Photo: ROBERT MICHAEL, AFP/Getty Images

Costa Rica is one step closer to Russia next year, defeating the United States in their home Friday night. The final score was 2-0.

Costa Rica’s win last night means the national soccer (futbol in Spanish) team maintains its second place, behind Mexico, who has already qualified. The top three national quality for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

“We didn’t capitalize on potential opportunities. We didn’t have a good night. Give Costa Rica credit. I thought they outplayed us and outcoached us tonight,” said Bruce Arena, the US coach.

Tim Howard reacts in the U.S. goal after Costa Rica opened the scoring against the U.S. Photo Espnfc.com

Friday night’s win adds three points to Costa Rica’s standing now at 14, the U.S. is in third spot, in the Central American and Caribbean region (CONCACAF) qualifying tournament with eight points, ahead of Honduras on goal difference.

The top three nations quality for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

CONCACAF Standings as at September 2, 2017

Team Record Points
Mexico 5-0-2 17
Costa Rica 4-1-2 14
United States 2-3-2 8
Honduras 2-3-2 8
Panama 1-2-4 7
Trinidad & Tobago 1-0-6 3

 

In the 5th round of preliminary competition, Costa Rica plays two home games, at home at the Estadio Nacional, the first against Mexico on September 5, and Honduras on October 6, before heading to Panama on October 10.

The Americans play at Honduras on Sept. 5 and close the hexagonal next month at home against Panama and at Trinidad and Tobago.

Right now Costa Rica has probably qualified unless they fall apart in their last two games, so the third spot is going to be a battle amongst the four remaining teams, though it is doubtful T&B have any real chance of moving up the ladder.

 


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