Played in hot, humid conditions at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, four different players scored for the U.S. as the team dominated possession throughout. Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press each found the back of the net, while Dunn and Lindsey Horan were denied goals by the crossbar and post respectively.
On the defensive side, goalkeepers Hope Solo and Alyssa Naeher combined to help the defense pitch its third consecutive shutout and 13th overall in 2016.
The defending gold medalist opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Meghan Klingenberg worked the ball up the left flank and into the Costa Rica box, where her cross found Rockville Centre’s Dunn charging in at the far post.
Seven minutes later teen sensation Pugh would extend the lead to 2-0. The 18-year-old attacker seized on a Costa Rica turnover in her defensive half of the of the field and pushed the ball past two Ticas while at full sprint up the left touchline. With Lloyd streaking down the center of field, Costa Rica keeper Dinnia Diaz anticipated a cross to the U.S. captain, giving Pugh an opportunity to slide the ball inside the near post.
Lloyd would then get on the score sheet in first half stoppage time, as she headed in a feed from Becky Sauerbrunn off a set piece. Press, in the 79th minute, would round out the scoring off an assist from Northport’s Allie Long.