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Weah, Dest revive US World Cup hopes, Mexico stay top

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Tim Weah (left) of the United States controls the ball against Kemar Lawrence #20 of Jamaica in the second half of a 2022 World Cup Qualifying match at Q2 Stadium on October 07, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo/AFP

Los Angeles, Thursday

Timothy Weah set up the winner as the United States came from behind to defeat Costa Rica 2-1 and reignite their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign on Wednesday.

Weah, who plays for French champions Lille, was drafted into the US starting line-up shortly before kick-off after D.C. United’s Chris Arriola suffered an injury in the warm-up.

The 21-year-old son of Liberian football icon George Weah was instrumental in the winning US goal, picking up a pass from Barcelona wingback Sergino Dest and rifling a shot towards Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira’s near-post.

Weah’s effort cannoned off the woodwork and ricocheted off Moreira and into the net for an own goal on 66 minutes.

It completed a well-earned comeback for US coach Gregg Berhalter’s young side, who recovered after falling behind inside the first minute from Keysher Fuller before Dest’s 25th-minute equalizer.

The win in Columbus, Ohio, gave the United States 11 points from six matches, three behind Mexico after El Tri’s 2-0 victory over El Salvador in San Salvador.

Victory excitement

“The team dug in and stuck together and I was really happy with the performance after conceding the first-minute goal,” US captain Tyler Adams said.

The United States had suffered an upset 1-0 away defeat to Panama on Sunday, when Berhalter was criticized for making seven changes from the team that beat Jamaica last week.

Against Costa Rica on Wednesday, Berhalter returned to the nucleus of the team that had brushed aside Jamaica, making 10 changes, and his team looked a more threatening and dynamic unit as a result.

The line-up was also the youngest ever US team to start a World Cup qualifying match, with an average age of 22 years and 229 days.

But the Americans were given a fright early on when a swift counter-attack by Costa Rica saw Ronald Matarrita beat Dest down the left flank before crossing to the far post for Fuller to volley home from inside the area.

The setback galvanized the United States, however, and they dominated possession for long periods before drawing level midway through the half.-AFP

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