Cuba scored the four goals they needed to reach the last eight, smashing the goals past Belize and a late Brek Shea gave Jurgen Klinsmann’s side yet another win, this time over rivals Costa Rica.
CUBA 4-0 BELIZE
Ariel Martinez ended Cuba’s long Gold Cup drought with three goals Tuesday, and Jeniel Molina’s last-second score lifted the Cubans into the quarter-finals with a 4-0 rout of overmatched Belize.
It was Cuba’s first victory in 14 Gold Cup games, including 12 losses. The Cubans finished the opening round 1-2 after losses to the United States and Costa Rica, but the four-goal victory allowed them to advance over Martinique as one of the top third-place teams.
After Martinez completed his hat trick, the Cubans pressed for the fourth goal that would keep them in the tournament. They came close a handful of times, then Molina put in a short right-footed shot and his teammates stormed off the bench into the corner of the pitch to mob him.
USA 1-0 COSTA RICA
By Jurgen Klinsmann’s reaction when Stoke City’s Brek Shea slammed home an 84th minute winner, you would have thought that the game against Costa Rica was the final. The German burst towards the sideline and windmilled his fists wildly as Shea raced towards the frenzied fans, followed by his teammates.
The impressive Joe Corona found Landon Donovan on the right, who found Shea wide-open running towards Patrick Pemberton’s goal. The Stoke man could not miss.
The US sit top on maximum points and the Costa Ricans in second place. The Americans face El Salvador on Sunday in their quarter-final as Costa Rica play Honduras.
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