USA vs. Cuba: Final score 4-1, Americans rally to crush Cuba

George Frey

The U.S. came back from a goal down and rode three second half goals to beat Cuba.

It looked like Cuba might stun the United States when they went up 1-0, but it just served as a wake up call for the Americans. Landon Donovan equalized for the U.S. before Chris Wondolowski's brace led a three-goal second half to propel the U.S. to a 4-1 win over Cuba.

For complete coverage of the U.S. visit: Stars and Stripes FC

With the win, the U.S. sits atop Group C on six points, while Cuba is fighting an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout stages with nary a point and only one matchday left.

The U.S. had all of the possession in the early going, but they struggled to turn that into chances. The only times they got looks at goal came on scrums in front of the Cuba goal, but more often than not, Cuba was able to clear the ball away.

The Americans' frustration reached new heights in the 36th minute when Cuba went in front on a wonderful goal. Ariel Martinez raced down the right and got around Edgar Castillo before crossing for Jose Nieto Martinez, who had beaten Oguchi Onyewu and finished first time to give Cuba a lead.

Cuba's goal gave the U.S. the jolt they needed and they quickly started playing sharper and more directly than they had in the first 35 minutes. That paid off in first half stoppage time when a great interchange between Castillo and Donovan forced Yenier Marquez to clatter into Castillo inside of the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Donovan converted to get the Americans level.

The second half was all U.S. as they battered Cuba for the whole 45 minutes. Cuba rarely had the ball, never really challenged Nick Rimando and while the U.S. notched three goals, they could have had two or three more.

Joe Corona put the U.S. in front just before the hour mark with a rocket from 20 yards that left Odelin Molina no chance. It was a fantastic strike and a worthy match-winner, as well as a memorable first international goal for Corona.

Wondolowski did the rest of the work, scoring his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament after coming off the bench. He first found the net in the 66th minute, then did it again five minutes from time to seal a solid win for the U.S. that has them sitting pretty with six points and a +8 goal difference after two matches.

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