Chicago, June 8 (IANS) The US vaulted into Copa America Centenario football quarter-final contention beating Costa Rica 4-0 here, riding on a goal and two assists in the first half from starman Clint Dempsey.
The US recorded their first Copa America win since upsetting Argentina on July 14, 1995, breaking a seven-game winless streak in the tournament, including six straight losses.
They lost their first match of the tournament 0-2 against Colombia. They now have three points after two matches.
Dempsey converted an early penalty kick for his 50th career international goal, then set up Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood for clinical finishes in a six-minute span late in the first half.
Costa Rica came out quickly and created the game’s first scoring chance in just the fifth minute when a mishit clearance fell to Joel Campbell, who whipped a half-volley past the right post.
Yedlin then helped create the opening goal by beating a defender and floating in a cross, and when defender Cristian Gamboa pushed winger Bobby Wood in the back, referee Roddy Zambrano whistled for a penalty kick. Dempsey coolly placed his shot into the lower right corner.
Later in the first half, Dempsey set up both Gyasi Zardes and Jermaine Jones for shots they fired high before the second goal arrived in the 37th minute.
Jones started the play with pressure and a sliding pass to Dempsey near midfield, then finished it with a well-placed low shot from the top of the penalty area.
The US made it 3-0 five minutes later when Dempsey fed Wood at the top of the penalty area, and the striker turned his man before firing a shot inside the near post.
Costa Rica created two good second half chances, but Celso Borges flicked his shot over the net in the 55th minute, and Bryan Ruiz headed a short corner kick against the left post in the 67th minute.
US substitute Graham Zusi wrapped things up in the 87th minute with a steal and a low, left-footed finish, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan made two saves to record the shutout.
The US will close group play on Saturday against Paraguay.