Super-sub seals USA Gold Cup spot in 4-1 win

Wondolowski puts two goals past Cuba to become contest's top scorer and send United States into the quarter finals.

    Super-sub seals USA Gold Cup spot in 4-1 win
    José Alfonso put Cuba ahead in the Gold Cup clash with the USA in Sandy, Utah [AFP]

    The United States have coasted into the quarter-finals Gold Cup the after thrashing Cuba 4-1 and Costa Rica have also booked a place with a 1-0 win over Belize.

    Cuba took the lead against the USA in their clash in Sandy, Utah, in the 36th on Saturday.

    Jose Ciprian curled around Edgar Castillo and cut the ball back to Jose Ciprian, who volleyed it past goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

    Before a crowd of 17,597 at Rio Tinto Stadium, Jose Ciprian Alfonso put Cuba ahead in the 36th minute. He beat defender Oguchi Onyewu to a cutback pass from Ariel Martinez, and scored.

    A Landon Donovan penalty drew the hosts level as first-half stoppage time began.

    Deadlock

    Donovan had traded the ball back-and-forth with Castillo, who was tripped in the box by Yenier Marquez.

    Referee Dave Gantar immediately pointed to the spot and Donovan wrong-footed goalkeeper Odelin Molina to score the penalty.

    Donovan's calm strike was his eighth goal in five matches against Cuba and his 53rd international tally with the Stars and Stripes.

    The Americans broke the deadlock 12 minutes after the break when Joe Corona scored his first international goal to put the US ahead 2-1.

    Jurgen Klinsmann used the goal as an opportunity to substitute Herculez Gomez for Chris Wondolowski  in the 58th minute.

    Wondolowski more confident

    Just eight minutes after Wondolowski entered the match he touched a feed from Kyle Beckerman past Molina to make the score 3-1.

    While Wondolowski has led or tied Major League Soccer in goals for three straight seasons, he had not scored for the national team in 11 appearances before getting his first in an exhibition win over Guatemala on July 5.

    "I'm very confident in my play," Wondolowski said.

    "Just even getting the goals is so huge. I feeling more confident in my passing and in my touch and things like that where it's helping me to raise my level."

    Wondolowski scored a first-half hat trick in Tuesday's 6-1 win over Belize, when his jersey was misspelled "Wondowlowski."

    Costa Rica through

    The superstitious striker had an extra "W" stitched on the inside of his shirt.

    The San Jose Earthquakes player struck again in the 85th minute with a brace to seal the 4-1 win and become the competition's top goal scorer with five goals.

    Costa Rica also qualified for the Gold Cup quarter-finals on Saturday with a tight 1-0 win over Belize.

    Costa Rica could have gone out in front in the first half, but a goal from Kenny Cunningham was wrongly ruled as offside.

    Relief for Costa Rica and misery for Belize came in the second half, when Dalton Eiley scored an own goal  in the 49th minute.

    The result put Costa Rica level with the United States on six points in Group C.

    Costa Rica plays the Unites States in the final pool game on Tuesday.

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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