USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann praised his side after coming from a goal down to beat Cuba 4-1 and qualify for the Gold Cup quarter-finals.
Torrential rain in Utah made the playing conditions difficult and it was the hosts who initially struggled to adapt, falling behind to Jose Ciprian Alfonso’s early strike.
But goals from Landon Donovan, Joe Corona and two from Chris Wondolowski saw the four-time winners progress.
Klinsmann felt his side should have handled the weather better but was happy with the way they reacted.
“It was a bit interesting because the rain came and, suddenly, the air was really heavy.” he said. “We felt it on the bench out there.
“They (Cuba) were really coming out of the locker room ready, they had good energy. And it happens sometimes, that the energy is not there anymore once you then finally start the game, but you have to work yourself into the game and I think that’s what they eventually did.
“Obviously, you want to start it at a high pace right away, from the first second, get your first goal and get the whole thing rolling. But then, if you have a difficult moment, and you feel the air is a bit heavy and you can’t breathe that well, you’ve just got to go through it.”
USA’s final group match sees them face second-placed Costa Rica, who have also already qualified for the last eight.
“We are very well aware of Costa Rica,” Klinsmann added. “Costa Rica is the first real benchmark for us, coming now.
“Everybody knows, and has respect for Belize and Cuba, we all do. But the benchmark for us now starts with Costa Rica.
“We are looking forward to that match, we need now games where we are eye-to-eye with the opponents. We know it’s going to go down to the wire, and we are looking forward to that match in Hartford.”
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