Soccer | United States 1, Costa Rica 0: On snowy pitch, U.S. wins key World Cup qualifier

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — On a snowy night more suitable to slaloms than soccer, Clint Dempsey scored early in his first start as the American captain and the United States beat Costa Rica 1-0 last night in a key qualifier for next year’s World Cup.

Plows and shovels were used to clear the penalty areas, center circle and midfield stripe as snow got heavier, and a yellow-and-purple ball was used.

There was even a brief stoppage in the 55th minute when it was unclear whether the match commissioner would let the contest continue.

But the game resumed and will be remembered in American soccer for the elements as much as the 1967 Ice Bowl is in the NFL.

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