Miami: Bobby Convey's first international goal proved to be a winning one as the United States came from behind to edge Costa Rica 3-2 on Saturday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup third-place play-off match.
The goal capped a hard-fought and at times sloppily played encounter that was punctuated by several crunching challenges as the hosts had to twice overcome one-goal deficits.
The decisive strike came in the 67th minute when Landon Donovan broke down the left wing and threaded a pass through to Convey who moved clear of the Costa Rican defence before lashing home from the edge of the penalty area.
Costa Rica — playing on only a day’s rest after losing to 0-2 to Mexico in a semi-final on Thursday night — looked the sharper, more dangerous side early on and deservedly took the lead.
In the 24th minute, Pablo Chinchilla's pass was dummied by Leonardo Gonzalez allowing Ronaldo Fonseca to fire past US 'keeper Kasey Keller from about 12 metres.
The US recovered quickly to level on 29 minutes through an unmarked Carlos Bocanegra who tapped in a pass from Donovan.
However, Costa Rica regained their advantage when Fonseca scored his second of the night six minutes before half-time after he latched onto a poor Keller clearance to slot home from around 13 metres.
As the visitors faded in the second half, Earnie Stewart equalised in the 56th minute with a stunning volley from the edge of the area that gave 'keeper Alvero Messen no chance.
It was then left to Convey to seal the win for the hosts in front of a meagre crowd of 5,093.