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Costa Rica 0, Paraguay 0 - Draw Puts United States Last In Group A

The first round of matches in Group A at Copa America are complete, and with their loss yesterday the USMNT finds themselves in the basement.

Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Costa Rica and Paraguay played a 0-0 draw in front of 14,334 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida this afternoon.

With a point apiece, but Costa Rica and Paraguay now sit tied in the Group A standings, with Colombia in first on three points and the United States in last.

The match began with a first minute yellow card to Yeltsin Valverde of Costa Rica following a hard and late sliding challenge near midfield. The early whistle would be a sign of things to come, as the match became increasingly chippy in the hot Florida afternoon. Costa Rica and Paraguay would combine for 29 fouls and 6 cards and only managed a combined five shots on target.

Paraguay had the best chances in the first half, but often were caught offside trying to beat the Costa Rican backline's offside trap. Paraguay would end the first half with the possession edge but little to show for it as they rarely tested backup keeper Patrick Pemperton.


Costa Rica would find more of the game in the second half, and ended the game with a strong flurry. But the back and forth and chippy nature of that the game dissolved into meant attacking chances were at a premium.

In the 87th minute, substitute Christian Bolanos fired low, hard shot to the far post forcing a diving save from Paraguay keeper Justo Villar. A minute or so later after a substitution and corner kick, Villar was called into action again has he knocked down and controlled a shot from distance from Celso Borges.

In stoppage time, Ticos defender Kendall Waston was sent off with a straight red for a scissoring challenge on Nelson Valdez. Waston will be suspended for Costa Rica's next match against the United States.

What this results means for the USMNT is that in the short term they find themselves at the bottom of the Group A standings. However, they'll be facing a Costa Rica team on short rest and without one of their starting defenders, which makes Tuesday game as a near must-win.

The USMNT will need at least four points to advance, and a win against Costa Rica could set up a virtual win-or-go-home matchup against Paraguay on the final match day. Likewise, a loss on Tuesday could all but eliminate the USA if Paraguay pulls off an upset against Colombia.

Group A resumes action on June 7th with the USA and Costa Rica kicking off at 8:00 PM EST at Soldier Field in Chicago while Colombia and Paraguay will have the nightcap from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA at 10:00 PM EST.