SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Johnny Acosta and Celso Borges scored as Costa Rica burst ahead in the first nine minutes, Joel Campbell added a goal on a late counterattack, and the Ticos beat the visiting United States 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier Friday night at San Jose.
Clint Dempsey, making his 100th international appearance, converted a penalty kick in the 43rd minute for the U.S. and nearly tied the score with a 20-yard shot off a post in the 60th minute.
Avenging a March loss to the U.S. in a Colorado snow storm, Costa Rica ended the Americans’ team-record 12-game winning streak.
The Ticos (4-1-2) moved into first place in the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean with 14 points, one ahead of the U.S. (4-2-1) with three games left. Honduras (3-3-1) is third with 10 points after upsetting Mexico 2-1. The top three nations qualify for next year’s 32-team field in Brazil. , and the fourth-place finisher goes to a playoff against New Zealand for another berth.