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 2014 World Cup qualifying match Friday in San Jose.
Sounders FC player Clint Dempsey, making his 100th international appearance, converted a penalty kick in the 43rd minute for the United States and nearly tied the score with a 20-yard shot off a post in the 56th minute.
Avenging a March loss in a Colorado snowstorm, Costa Rica ended the United States’ team-record 12-match winning streak — three short of the world mark set by Spain.
“We were a little careless early in the game,” Landon Donovan said after his first World Cup qualifier in 15 months. “We’ve got to do better, clearly.”
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Costa Rica (4-1-2) moved into first place among six teams in the final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean with 14 points, one ahead of the U.S. team (4-2-1) with three matches remaining. Honduras (10 points) is in third place after a surprising 2-1 victory at Mexico (eight points).
The United States hosts Mexico on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. players Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler must sit out after getting their second yellow cards in qualifying.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley might miss the Mexico match. Originally in the starting lineup, Bradley limped off during warmups after spraining his left ankle and later was on crutches.