Castillo, Team USA defeat Cuba, 4-1
Salt Lake City, UT — After going down a goal in the first half, the U.S. Men's National Team scored four consecutive goals to defeat Cuba 4-1 and seal its spot in the quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Landon Donovan, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski, with two, provided the scoring touch for the Americans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
With the victory, the United States has tied the longest winning streak in team history at seven in a row. The previous mark was set from June 2-24, 2007, beginning with a 4-1 win against China that led to six straight wins in the 2007 Gold Cup and a championship title.
Wondolowski now has five goals from two games in the tournament and is the only U.S. player in history to score that many in a single Gold Cup tournament. He is the second U.S. striker to score in three straight games this year, along with Jozy Altidore.
The U.S. will be back in action for their third group game against Costa Rica at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on July 16 at 8 p.m. ET. The match will be televised on FOX Soccer with live coverage provided via Twitter @ussoccer and on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
Corona provided the first threat on goal in the match with a glancing header from a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 14th minute. However, the first half languished a bit as Cuba mounted a stout defensive effort and U.S. was unable to break the deadlock.
In fact, it would be Cuba that scored first as a counter attack lead to Jose Ciprian's strike from 10 yards which the Caribbean nation the lead. With the U.S. attacking on down the right, a turnover allowed Cuba to switch fields and spring an attack down the left sideline. Ariel Martinez beat Edgar Castillo around the corner and pulled it back to the spot for Ciprian to one-time past Rimando.
The U.S. would draw level on 44 minutes as a Donovan and Castillo combination at the top of the area earned a penalty kick when Castillo was chopped down as he burst free from the last line of defense. Donovan stepped up to the spot and tucked away his penalty into the left corner as the goalkeeper went the wrong way. The spot kick increased Donovan's career Gold Cup goal scoring record to 15.
The second half saw the U.S. pull away as Corona struck 12 minutes after the restart with a curling half strike from 20 yards. It was young midfielder's first goal for the senior U.S. side.
Substitute Wondolowski would then stamp his name on the match, providing goals in the 66th and 85th minutes to help Jurgen Klinsmann's men amass a three goal lead. His first goal was a touch of class as he clipped a one-time effort over goalkeeper Odelín Molina from a well-flighted Kyle Beckerman cross. His second was an opportunistic strike as he deftly lifted the ball over a defender's foot at the top of the goal box and pounded his chance home with his left foot.