Mexico beat Panama to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Mexico beat Panama to qualify for 2018 World Cup

On Friday night, the United States' Men's National Team took on Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifying match.

"It's all still in our hands and we're ready to go down to the wire and get ourselves into the World Cup", captain Michael Bradley said.

It was a very different Costa Rica side than the one the Americans faced in the Gold Cup semifinals in July. That creates the room to justify the efforts to make competitive games as out of reach as possible for people who fellow Americans whose rooting interests aren't as fixed as their own.

The USMNT picked up their first loss since the return of Bruce Arena as head coach, losing 2-0 to Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena.

The first American shot on frame came in the 67th minute.

Although the Costa Rica team thrashed the United States 4-0 last November, the US team hopes the home field advantage for tonight's game will work heavily in their favor. A poor clearing kick from goalkeeper Tim Howard was headed back towards the U.S. territory and with Ream and Geoff Cameron out of position, Urena burst through the middle. They carried more of the play and it must be said, physically dominated the Americans most of the time in 50-50 duels.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Urena's goal in the 30th minute broke the Americans' streak of scoring first in nine straight games. "We pushed hard, couldn't get back to 1-1 and they made a play at the end".

The U.S. came into the match undefeated in 2017 and with several players in excellent form, but that didn't translate into efficient play on a night when the Americans needed a win at home.

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Nor do they intend to. Panama plays T&T at home on Tuesday, and after facing the US will host Costa Rica on the last day of qualifying. "We'll bounce back, forget about it and move forward".

"We have to put this past us real quick", Arena said.

"Today we felt pretty even in terms of crowd support, so you don't have that aspect always against you", said Ureña. A team that's better than the one that played Friday can draw in new fans as past World Cups have shown even amongst those who hold strong connections with the land of the forefathers. "That's what we'll do".

It was just their third home loss in qualifying since 1985 - and came 16 years to the day the US and Arena lost 3-2 to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium.

New Zealand closed in on a World Cup qualifying playoff spot against the fifth-place South American team by beating the Solomon Islands 6-1 Friday in the opening match of a two-leg series.

Panama, who face Mexico later on Friday, have seven points, while Honduras, who face bottom side Trinidad and Tobago, have five. "I thought they outplayed us". The top three teams will qualify automatically, and the fourth-place team will go to a playoff against the fifth-place team in Asia-possibly Syria or Saudi Arabia at this point-for a spot in Russian Federation 2018.

"It's going to be a battle amongst the remaining four teams", he said. He also missed a golden opportunity to tie the match when Navas blocked his shot inside the box after he got past the defense.