Los Angeles (AFP)
The US team regained its balance, after defeating its guest Costa Rica 2-1 in a match that saw the injury of the latter’s goalkeeper and Paris Saint-Germain, Keylor Navas, in his right arm in the sixth round of the third round in the Concacaf Zone Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, while Mexico strengthened its lead by defeating Host El Salvador with two clean goals.
In Columbus, the United States overturned a goal in the first minute, scored by Kesher Fuller, to win thanks to the equalizer from Barcelona player Serginio Dest, before snatching the three points through friendly fire after rebounding a shot by Timothy Weah, son of the former Liberian star George, from the post. To collide with substitute goalkeeper Lionel Moreira and from him to the net.
Moreira replaced Navas, 34, who injured his right arm in his 99th international match and went out at half-time, to give his hopes a strong blow in light of the competition that brings him together this year with his Paris club with Italian newcomer Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The Costa Rican Football Association did not issue any clarification regarding the absence of the Saint-Germain goalkeeper, who won the European Champions League title with his former club, Real Madrid.
US coach Greg Berhalter was criticized after his first-ever loss to Panama in the qualifiers, 0-1, against the background of his decision to rely on a completely different squad to the one that beat Jamaica 2-0 Thursday in Austin.
Berhalter made 10 substitutions compared to the previous match, so his team seemed more threatening and dynamic, while the squad that played the smaller meeting was considered to start a qualifying match for the World Cup, where the average age of players was 22 years and 229 days.
Berhalter Boyah, the 21-year-old defending French champions, pushed Lille shortly before the whistle after DC United’s Chris Areola was injured during the warm-up period.
Costa Rica advanced thanks to a counter-attack that reached Ronald Mataria, who overpowered Dest on the left wing to pass a ball to the far post, followed by Fuller “on the fly” in the net a minute after the start of the whistle.
The hosts took possession of the ball ineffectively, before Weah penetrated the left side and passed deep to the Spanish player Valencia, Younes Musa on the opposite side and from him to Dest to hit the left foot in the upper corner of goalkeeper Navas, to return Weah and cause the second goal and victory.
The US team raised its score to 11 points in second place from 6 matches, 3 points behind its Mexican counterpart, who defeated El Salvador in its own home.
Mexico opened the scoring through Hector Moreno’s header in the 30th minute, before Raul Jimenez added the second penalty kick in the third minute of stoppage time for the second half.
The two teams suffered from a numerical shortage, so the hosts played with ten players since the 48th minute after the referee expelled Mario Jacobo, before raising the red card again in the face of Mexican player Nestor Araujo in the 67th minute.
Canada advanced to third place with 10 points after its big win over Panama 4-1 in Toronto, in a match in which Bayern Munich star Alfonso Davis, who scored the goal in the 66th minute, starred.
Panama opened the scoring through Rolando Blackburn, and Canada equalized through friendly fire thanks to Michael Moreau, to add Davis second and Tajon Buchanan third, while Jonathan David concluded the scoring festival in the 78th minute.
Jamaica won its first victory in the current qualifiers at the expense of its host Honduras 2-0, in San Pedro Sula.