DENVER, Colorado, March 22 (Reuters) - In a heavy snow storm at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the the United States battled to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica with Clint Dempsey's 16th minute goal securing the victory in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Friday.
The U.S's decision to try and gain an advantage over the Central Americans by playing in a cold climate and at altitude, looked in danger of back-firing and causing a major logistical headache but despite the snow blowing for 90 minutes, the game was able to be finished.
The three points were vital for Juergen Klinsmann's team after they lost their opening game in the final stage of the qualifiers last month to Honduras and the German will be delighted with the character his team showed in a blizzard.
Captain Dempsey went close with a long-range effort in the 16th minute but moments later he had put Klinsmann's team in front.
Jozy Altidore tried his luck from the edge of the area and his shot deflected off Costa Rica defender Roy Miller and fell kindly to Dempsey who simply slotted home.
The game looked to be in doubt when the referee halted the game in the 55th minute but after consultation and a few minutes of clearing the touchlines of snow, the game resumed.
Costa Rica piled on the pressure with Alvaro Saborio forcing Guzan into action with a diagonal shot in the 60th minute and two minutes later Michael Umana had a header disallowed for offside.
But the U.S. held on for a three points and a major morale boost. (Editing by Ian Ransom)