Gold Cup 2013 Results: Scores and Highlights from Day 3

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Gold Cup 2013 Results: Scores and Highlights from Day 3
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

On the third day of the 2013 Gold Cup, Costa Rica defeated Cuba, 3-0, while Team USA disposed of Belize, 6-1, in Group C play.

Belize was appearing in its first-ever Gold Cup match, and it showed against an American side with plenty of momentum right now.

Cuba failed to surprise, adding to the perception that the side was but an afterthought in this tournament.

Here's a look at how it all went down on Tuesday in Portland, Ore.

 

Costa Rica 3, Cuba 0

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The match started out at a quick pace, resulting in several fouls and turnovers. 

In the eighth minute, Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio had the first legitimate opportunity of the game, but his attempt sailed high and wide right.

Both teams began to find openings from there, but Cuba wasn't as sharp, failing to put together a string of passes to create serious danger for the Costa Ricans.

Costa Rica started building some momentum after that, earning a corner kick in the 18th minute. However, Osvaldo Rodriguez's pass to the back of the post wasn't accurate, and the Costa Ricans missed an opportunity.

In the 21st minute, Roy Miller had a prime chance to score off a deflection, but his attempt sailed over the bar. 

In the 25th minute, it was Cuba's chance to threaten after a poor turnover by Costa Rica. But Alianni Urgelles missed high and the match was still scoreless.

Photo via haydle Instagram account

Ariel Martinez followed with a sprint past the Costa Rican defense in the 29th minute, but his shot slid off the side of his foot and wide. 

Cuba had yet another chance in the 37th minute when the side earned a free kick, but Martinez's ensuing cross was followed by a poor foul by the Cubans.

Moments later, Costa Rica goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton came well out to the top of the box to defend a long ball. He missed on the attempt, but Alberto Gomez failed to capitalize on a header, sending it wide right with the open goal staring him right in the face.

Costa Rica's defense gave Gomez space again minutes later, but his shot was high and wide right.

The half ended fittingly, with Cuba's Yoandir Puga doing his best to handle a hard cross and heading the ball high.

Fox Soccer Trax may have summed it up best:

Grant Wahl of Fox Sports simply followed with this:

Costa Rica held possession of the ball for 65 percent of the first half, according to ESPNFC.com, but it was Cuba that had the most opportunities, registering nine shots. Of course, only one of those shots were on goal, highlighting the poor attempts to take advantage of the numerous chances.

Costa Rica responded quickly in the second half, though, putting aside its lackluster beginnings.

In the 51st minute, Cuba watched as a poor clearance by the side ended up with Michael Barrantes, who swung a left-footed shot across his body into the lower right corner of the net.

Costa Rica all of a sudden had the lead, 1-0.

Fox Soccer tweeted out the goal:

In the 61st minute, Ariel Martinez, once again, had space at the top of the box, but his left-footed shot was lofted too high. At this point, Costa Rica appeared content to keep Cuba on the outside and protect near the net. The Cubans weren't exactly making the Costa Ricans pay for giving them some space either.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica added to its lead in the 71st minute, adding to Cuba's misery in the process. Jairo Arrieta got off a shot from close range, and Cuba goalkeeper Odelin Molina was able to make a nice save, but the ball rebounded right back to Arrieta, who didn't miss the second time with a shot down the pipe.

It was 2-0, Costa Rica.

Fox Soccer tweeted out the goal:

Minutes later, Barrantes connected on his second goal of the match on a smash outside the box and the contest had turned into a runaway victory for the Costa Ricans. Cuba (and Molina for that matter) looked dazed and confused.

It was now 3-0, Costa Rica.

Fox Soccer hit us with the highlight:

In the 88th minute, Cuba had its best chance of the night, but (surprise, surprise) Armando Coroneaux didn't find the net.

Cuba wasn't given much of a shot coming into this tournament, and the side didn't waste any time proving why on Tuesday in Portland. Just an ugly, sloppy effort by the Cubans.

 

USA 6, Belize 1

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Team USA created pressure right from the start on Tuesday, earning a corner kick in the first minute, but Jose Torres overhit the ball.

The Americans had a couple of opportunities moments later, but Belize was able to withstand an early barrage.

In the eighth minute, Team USA had another chance when a clearance by Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio was returned by Landon Donovan. Donovan swung the ball to Clarence Goodson, who found Michael Orozco, but Orozco was unable to convert on a close-range attempt.

But, with the home crowd backing the Americans, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before they struck.

And that it was. In the 12th minute, Chris Wondolowski—who came into the match with plenty to prove—swung it home from close range off a rebound.

Fox Soccer hit us with the highlight:

Team USA continued to pressure from there, making it a rough stretch for overmatched Belize. Through the first 20 minutes, Belize was under constant duress, making it hard to believe that the Americans wouldn't roll over the visitors at Jeld-Wen Field.

Donovan was making a fine impression early, via Fox Soccer Trax:

Belize showed its first true push in the 23rd minute, as Deon McCaulay swung a nice ball from the center of the box. But, on the deflection off Orozco, Team USA goalkeeper Nick Rimando was able to keep it out of harm's way.

The attempt by McCaulay marked Belize's first shot of the match.

In the 33rd minute, the Americans had another chance when Belize turned the ball over in its own third. Donovan played a nice ball to Joe Corona, but Orio made a brilliant save to thwart Team USA's effort.

But it was only a matter of time before the Americans would strike again. After Wondolowski missed a chance at his second goal in the 37th minute, he scored moments later off a cross from Kyle Beckerman. The 29-year-old's header rang true in space.

Fox Soccer tweeted out the goal:

But Belize, not to go down without a fight, scored in the 40th minute, as Ian Gaynair caught Team USA napping on the back end.

Fox Soccer hit us with the video:

Of course, the Americans made sure to put the pressure back on Belize. This time, Wondolowski connected on a header off a cross from Michael Parkhurst. Wondolowski had notched a hat trick in one half on the pitch.

Fox Soccer tweeted:

Of course, it would have been nice if Wondolowski's last name was spelled correctly after all of this, as Fox Soccer pointed out:

Through one half of play, Belize found itself living a nightmare in its first Gold Cup match, down 3-1. A new jersey was instantly ordered for Wondolowski at the half (just kidding).

The Americans held the ball for 78 percent of the first half, per ESPNFC.com. They also notched 10 shots (seven on goal) to Belize's three (one on goal).

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Stuart Holden, attempting to get back into fitness for Team USA, started the second half over Beckerman.

In the 49th minute in the second half, Belize finally earned its first corner kick of the match. Unfortunately for the side, Evral Trapp's cross didn't amount to anything.

In the 58th minute, it was Holden who came through, making the most of the second-half start. Corona swung a nice ball to the back post, Donovan knocked it down and Holden finished emphatically. It marked Donovan's 50th assist in national team play, becoming the first American to do so.

The more you watched the Americans on Tuesday, the more they impressed you.

Fox Soccer had the highlight:

Belize threatened in the 65th minute off a cross from McCauley, but Harrison Tasher wasn't able to connect.

In the 72nd minute, it was the Americans again, as Donovan, once again, lofted a pretty cross to Orozco, who headed it into the back of the net.

It was 5-1, Team USA.

Fox Soccer tweeted out the video:

It kept getting worse and worse for Belize.

In the 75th minute, Ashley Torres was whistled on a controversial handball in the box, giving the Americans a penalty kick. Donovan calmly sent the keeper the wrong way for the score, giving Team USA a 6-1 lead.

Fox Soccer tweeted:

Team USA cruised from there, finishing off a dominant effort to begin the 2013 Gold Cup. The Americans may have been facing an overmatched squad on Tuesday, but one had the feeling they could have scored on just about anyone. They looked phenomenal.

 

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