The United States men’s national team was looking to build off of their dominant opening match win against Belize in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and they did just that against Cuba. The Cuban squad came out strong and took the early lead with their first goal against the USA in eight years thanks to a sliding volley from José Ciprian Alfonso.
Unfortunately for the Cubans, that would be their shining moment.
The United States turned up the pressure for the remainder of the first-half, which resulted in a successful penalty conversion by the one and only Landon Donovan in the 45th minute. It was the first time that Donovan has scored a goal in three straight USMNT appearances since the 2010 World Cup.
With the score tied at one goal a piece, both squads were looking to find the back of the net early in the second half.
For the Americans, they were able to build off of the momentum from the late Donovan goal to get their second score just minutes in to the second-half thanks to the right foot of Joe Corona. Corona hit the ball from just outside of the box and placed it perfectly in the right corner of the goal. The score came in the 57th minute.
In the 66th minute, the Americans continued to pour on the goals. The man responsible for the tournament opening hat trick, Chris Wondolowski, put one past the Cuban keeper after an assist from Kyle Beckerman.
The United States continued to find control the action and find scoring opportunities throughout the remainder of the contest, and they were finally able to add on one final goal thanks to Wondolowski once again in the 85th minute.
While Wondolowski didn’t net another hat trick, he still put two nails in the coffin for the USMNT and showed that he is a very valuable player to this squad moving forward.
When the final whistle blew, the USMNT had earned themselves another Gold Cup win as they took a commanding lead in Group C.