The USA needing a win at home against Costa Rica, as it does on Friday, has been a common scenario in World Cup qualifying history. Twenty years ago, Tab Ramos scored the
winning goal for the USA against the Ticos, as he had done in 1989.
The 1997 1-0 win Portland in front of 27,396 fans came thanks to a Ramos goal after he received a pass from Marcelo
Balboa -- following some fine work on the wing from Preki. It broke the USA’s three-game winless streak and put Coach Steve
Sampson’s team back on track to qualify for the 1998 World Cup.
From Soccer America Magazine:
In its quest to qualify for the 1990 World Cup, the Bob
Gansler-coached USA opened with a 1-0 loss at Costa Rica. Two weeks later, Ramos scored the decider of a 1-0 win over the Ticos at the St. Louis Soccer Park — and David
Vanole saved a penalty kick — earning a crucial point in the USA’s successful return to the World Cup for the first time in 40 years.