EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -

Brek Shea scored his first international goal off a feed from Landon Donovan in the 82nd minute Tuesday night to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica and the top spot in its Gold Cup group.

Seconds after Sean Johnson made a brilliant save off a corner kick, Joe Corona cleared the ball, setting up the winning sequence. The veteran Donovan, trying to work his way back into a starring role on the national team after a self-imposed hiatus, took the ball on the right side. He quickly spotted Shea, who came on just five minutes earlier, streaking down the middle.

Donovan's pass hit Shea in stride, and the Stoke City player sent a left-footed shot from 15 yards off goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton for the winner, the Americans' eighth straight, a team record.

They will play El Salvador on Sunday in Baltimore, while Costa Rica meets Honduras.