Clint Dempsey showed his class as he scored one and created two as the USA came back from the opening day disappointment to beat Costa Rica 4-0 in their second game of the Copa America Centenario.
Jurgen Klinsmann stuck with the same team that was dismantled by Colombia in the first game and it yielded fruit.
Dempsey was the star of the show, scoring the opening goal and setting up the next two, as the United States of America romped to victory against Costa Rica.
Despite many calling for ‘dynamic duo’ Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic, to start the game, Klinsmann refused to bow to their demands. The USA lost the Copa’s first game 2-0, having a lot of the ball but creating few opportunities bar a couple of Dempsey long-shots.
After the game the German coach insisted that it had been an even game and that his team had done little wrong, and while at the time it seemed like his words were to give confidence to his side, by selecting the same 11 players, perhaps he really believed it.
Costa Rica started the better team, quick feet, nimble midfield moves and a few dangerous balls into the USA box. But the hosts drew first blood, when Cristian Gamboa needlessly shoved Bobby Wood in the box and Roddy Zambrano pointed to the penalty spot. It changed the game completely.
Clint Dempsey stepped up confidently and sent Patrick Pemberton the wrong way from the spot, netting his team’s first goal of the tournament and his 50th international strike. His first came in Chicago too, a little over 11 years ago.
A cagey period followed, with the USA reluctant to commit men forward while already holding the lead, although Gyasi Zardes went close when he fired into the side-netting after being sprung down the left.