Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
Costa Rica and the USA will go head-to-head for a place in the 2017 Gold Cup final on Saturday when they face off at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Los Ticos are targeting an appearance in the final for just the second time, having only previously reached it in 2002.
The USA will be looking to return to the showpiece after the 2015 tournament broke their streak of five consecutive appearances.
Read on for a preview of their upcoming clash, but first here are the viewing details you need to catch the action:
Date: Saturday, July 22
Time: 10 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. local
TV: Fox Sports 1 USA
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Costa Rica progressed to the semi-final by beating Panama 1-0 in the last round courtesy of an Anibal Godoy own goal, while the United States saw off El Salvador 2-0.
Despite the comfortable scoreline, the hosts struggled to impress in the latter match.
Former USA star Taylor Twellman was not impressed:
Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman
Shape and spacing isn’t good for #USMNT. Morrow and Zardes are standing on top of each other they need more sophistication between them.
Goal USA’s Ives Galarcep also called on the team to improve significantly if they want a place in the final:
Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves
The #USMNT won last night to reach the #GoldCup2017 semis, but their play needs to get MUCH better and Bruce Arena’s players know it. https://t.co/GdWn4E42sB
Indeed, per Galarcep, both manager Bruce Arena and his players are well aware of that need after the quarter-final. Arena said: “I thought we had a difficult time tonight. Our timing wasn’t good. We didn’t deal well with the physicality. The game had no rhythm with all the fouls and players falling on the group, but we weren’t good on top of it.”
Jozy Altidore added: “We can’t be coming out flat like that. As the games get tougher now, a good Costa Rica team will punish you early on if you come out flat like that. I don’t think we can come out like we did today in the first 30 and escape without giving up goals. We’ve got to be sharper.”
The United States may have been able to get away with a lacklustre performance against El Salvador, but they’ll have a tougher time against Los Ticos.
The latter battled their way through a hard-fought clash with Panama, per the Gold Cup’s official Twitter feed:
Gold Cup 2017 @GoldCup
Costa Rica 1 – 0 Panama Highlights | @FEDEFUTBOL_CR @fepafut #GoldCup2017 https://t.co/Qk8uXsYUlg
Costa Rica have shipped just one goal in the tournament thus far, so if the USA are to break them down they can’t afford to be as disjointed in attack as they were for much of the quarter-final.
Likewise, if they gift their opponents the same chances they handed El Salvador, they’re much more likely to be punished.
All in all, it should make for an absorbing matchup.