Skip to main content

United States v Costa Rica: Klinsmann wants ruthless display to keep Copa hopes alive

Jurgen Klinsmann has urged United States to be ruthless against Costa Rica on Tuesday in order to keep their Copa America campaign alive.

The host nation suffered a 2-0 defeat to Colombia in their opening match but remain just a point adrift at the bottom of Group A after Costa Rica and Paraguay played out a 0-0 draw.

Klinsmann stated his conviction last week that USA had been more than a match for the side ranked number three in the world, despite goals from Cristian Zapata and James Rodriguez securing their victory.

And the former Germany international wants his players to prove they can challenge for the latter stages of the tournament by producing a more clinical attacking display against Costa Rica in Chicago.

"The key is to find ways to play through a very compact, very well organised side," said the USA boss.

"We have to find ways to find the forwards, find spots to go through. It doesn't really matter what system you play.

"We have to find those opportunities against Costa Rica and finish them off."

Costa Rica held off Paraguay to earn a point from their opening game despite finishing the match with 10 men following the sending-off of Kendall Waston.

The centre-back was dismissed in the closing moments of the match in Orlando for a heavy challenge on Paraguay forward Nelson Valdez, underlining the ill-tempered nature of the game as a whole.

However, head coach Oscar Ramirez is confident that his side will display a little more of their footballing ability against USA and hopes the loss of Waston to suspension will not leave them struggling to cope with set-pieces.

"I think the game is going to be a little bit different," he said. "I think the game is going to be a little bit more of a soccer-type of match.

"It's all good, because we have the people, we have 23 people in the squad for these kinds of situations, and we have to adapt."

Waston's ban, coupled with the loss of Keylor Navas to an Achilles problem before the tournament, means Costa Rica could face a stern challenge to keep out a USA side who had scored 12 times in four matches prior to their Colombia defeat.

The home side have not lost to Costa Rica on American soil in official competition since 1989, but Ramirez's men have won each of the last two meetings, including a friendly in New Jersey last October, when Arsenal's Joel Campbell struck the only goal.