The United States and Costa Rica both secured progression to the next stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with contrasting victories on Saturday.
The USA top Group C of the tournament on six points, after coming from behind to steamroll Cuba 4-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Substitute Chris Wondolowski entered the arena after 58 minutes, and helped himself to a brace with goals in the 66th and 85th minutes – which were the cherry on top for the US after Landon Donovan and Joe Corona struck earlier.
Jose Alfonso had put the Cubans 1-0 to the good on 36 minutes, before Donovan’s penalty on the stroke of half-time restored parity for the host nation.
Corona then put the Americans ahead 12 minutes after the interval, before Wondolowski put the result beyond doubt.
Costa Rica also qualified for the next stage with a game to spare thanks to a 1-0 win over Belize, seeing them level with the USA on six points.
An own goal from Belize defender Dalton Eiley four minutes into the second half in Sandy handed the Costa Ricans a ticket into the next phase.
There is still hope one of Belize and Cuba could advance to the knockout stages, with two of the three groups’ best third-place finishers granted entry.
Belize and Cuba play each other in their final group game, with the winner needing both of Group B’s El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago to lose to stand any chance of progression.
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