Costa Rica’s players and coach were none too happy with a 1-0 loss to the United States in a World Cup qualifier Friday night that was mainly played in a snowstorm in Commerce City, Colo.
“You couldn’t see the lines. You couldn’t see the ball. You couldn’t play,” Costa Rica midfielder Michael Barrantes said.
Costa Rican Coach Jorge Luis Pinto was outraged that the game was played.
“I asked them to stop,” he said after the game. “They should suspend the ref. It was an embarrassment. It was an insult to Costa Rica and people coming in here.”
The only goal was a fortunate strike for the U.S. in the 16th minute. It came when a shot by forward Jozy Altidore deflected over three Costa Rican defenders and fell at the feet of forward Clint Dempsey, who was wide open on the far side of the defense.
“It was a lucky deflection,” Dempsey said. “If I would have missed it, I would have cried all night.”
The game was stopped briefly in the 55th minute when conditions turned into a whiteout. U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann pleaded for the game to continue.
“You don’t want to stop it,” Klinsmann said. “You want to keep that advantage and finish it off.
“They cleaned up the lines and they kept playing. The referees were clear, they said it was all about the lines. It’s for both teams very difficult to play all the way through. I would have done anything possible to not stop it.”
Costa Rica almost tied the score in the 70th minute when Michael Umana got behind the American defense for a goal, but he was ruled to be offside.
“We were able to come together when we needed to,” Dempsey said.
Much to the chagrin of Costa Rica, which has 24 hours to file a protest with FIFA, the governing body of international soccer.