Klins­mann stunned by Costa Rica maul­ing

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

UNITED STATES coach Jur­gen Klins­mann said his team’s 4-0 thrash­ing by Costa Rica was the most dispir­it­ing loss of his reign yes­ter­day as he re­flected on backto-back World Cup qualifying de­feats.

“It’s def­i­nitely the de­feat that hurts the most in my five years, for sure,” a somber Klins­mann ad­mit­ted af­ter watch­ing Costa Rica dis­man­tle his men on a sul­try night at San Jose’s Es­ta­dio Na­cional.

Arse­nal’s Joel Camp­bell (pix) scored twice in three sec­ond-half min­utes af­ter Jo­han Vene­gas and Chris­tian Bolanos had put the 2014 World Cup quar­ter­fi­nal­ists 2-0 ahead.

The drub­bing, which fol­lowed a shat­ter­ing 2-1 loss at home to Mex­ico in Colum­bus last Friday, leaves the United States bot­tom of the CONCACAF re­gion’s six­team fi­nal round of qual­i­fiers for the 2018 World Cup.

Al­though there are still plenty of points to play for with eight games re­main­ing, Klins­mann ad- mit­ted he had not an­tic­i­pated fail­ing to take a point from the open­ing two games.

“It’s a bit­ter mo­ment for us. There’s no doubt about it,” Klins­mann said.

“We didn’t imag­ine we’d start the Hexag­o­nal with two de­feats right at the be­gin­ning.

“We knew it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult play­ing Mex­ico and Costa Rica in the first two games. But ob­vi­ously you want to have some points.

“This is def­i­nitely a mo­ment to re­flect on what hap­pened in the last 10 days. I said to the play­ers it won’t be the only 4-0 de­feat in their ca­reer.

“But hope­fully they’ll take some lessons from this. Def­i­nitely it’s bit­ter be­cause we wanted to do far bet­ter than we did.”

Team USA has played in ev­ery World Cup since the 1990 fi­nals in Italy. The top three fin­ish­ers in the CONCACAF round robin tour­na­ment qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally for Rus­sia, while the fourth placed side en­ters a play-off.

Yes­ter­day’s drub­bing is cer­tain to re­new spec­u­la­tion about Klins­mann’s po­si­tion.

The Ger­man World Cup win­ner has faced re­peated crit­i­cism of his tac­tics and per­son­nel over the past year.

Against the Costa Ri­cans yes­ter­day his team were out­played and fell be­hind shortly be­fore half­time when ‘ Los Ti­cos’ ahead with a soft goal.

Slack de­fend­ing from Omar Gon­za­lez al­lowed Bolanos to get to the by­line and cross for Vene­gas, left un­marked by John Brooks, to head home past Brad Guzan.

Bolanos made it 2-0 in the 69th minute, prod­ding home from close range af­ter an ex­quis­ite cross with the out­side of the boot by Bryan Ruiz.

The sec­ond Costa Rica goal was the cue for an ab­ject col­lapse in the US de­fense and once again Brooks was at fault.

The Hertha Berlin cen­ter­half made a hor­ri­ble hash of clear­ing a long ball for­ward and Camp­bell pounced to race clean through on goal, calmly tuck­ing away past Guzan.

Three min­utes later and Camp­bell grabbed his sec­ond with al­most a car­bon copy of his first. More static de­fend­ing al­lowed Camp­bell to go clear and he duly fin­ished to com­plete US mis­ery. – AFP went

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