U.S. reserves spot in Gold Cup quarterfinal with 4-1 win over Cuba

The U.S. men’s national soccer team scored three second-half goals as it overpowered Cuba to win Saturday’s Gold Cup match 4-1 at Salt Lake City.

The win reserves a spot in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, and it also marks the team’s seventh consecutive win, tying a program record set in 2007.

Cuba drew first blood, scoring late in the first half off an impressive through ball that caught the U.S. defense line near midfield. But Landon Donovan responded just before halftime as he calmly finished a penalty kick in stoppage time.

As soon as the second half started, the U.S. attack found its legs. First Joe Corona (video above) netted his first career international goal off a strike to the right corner from the top of the box in the 56th minute. 

Then second-half substitute Chris Wondolowski -- who recorded a hat trick in the U.S.’s 6-1 Gold Cup win over Belize -- continued his torrid scoring streak with two more goals. He had a few other chances for his second straight hat trick but was unable to net another.

After a shaky start in the first half, when he was beaten on Cuba's lone goal, defenseman Edgar Castillo rebounded extremely well with a number of well-timed, well-placed passes that eventually set up U.S. scoring chances. Castillo was also the one who drew the first-half penalty kick after a clever one-two combination with Donovan. 

All told, Castillo was involved in three of the four U.S. goals. 

The U.S. will take on Costa Rica on Tuesday in Hartford, Conn., to round out group play. 

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