USA v CUBA
USA was in sublime form albeit, being against a team which they are expected to beat. U.S. talisman Clint Dempsey grabbed a hat trick which was goal number 45, 46, and 47 for his international career.
Cuba tried to play on the counter while sitting back and allowing the U.S. to keep the ball. Cuba gave it their all and one could say they over achieved. Dempsey’s first came off Chandler’s long pass which he headed over the keeper. Fabian Johnson then scored to make it 2-o subsequently, ending the game.
Icelandic born Johannsson then chipped the goalie after receiving a wonderful pass from Bradley who has continued to improve, even though he is playing in the MLS. Bradley and Johannnsson then linked up again which resulted in Johannsson heading across goal for Gonzales to finish.
The second half with Cuba, having nothing to lose, put up a stiffer fight. Credit to them, they conceded 4 in the first half and only two in the second, which was a combination of the USA having won the game already and Cuba playing with more intent. Dempsey scored from the PK spot after Johannsson was fouled before finishing off his hat trick with a 78 minute strike. Cuba gave it their all, USA will move onto the semifinals where they will have a much sterner test.
JAMAICA V HAITI
This was the second match on today’s calendar which featured two teams with it all to play for. Both teams were in the mood to showcase their speed and technical abilities which will be required to beat the US in the semi finals.
Both teams started off with decent possession, with each team feeling the other out. At one point it seemed there were too many passes with no end result. Both teams controlled the middle of pitch with Rodolph Austin and Jobi McAnuff showing their physical presence. Haiti likewise, was also good with possession with JA (Jamaica) ending the game with 53% possession. JA looked tired in some parts of the game which is understandable being that this is their second tournament in the space of a month and a half.
Giles Barnes got the first and only goal of the game in the 27th minute of play from a tight angle which he riffled between the keepers legs. Haiti would go on finish the game for more shots but most of them either went wide, high or straight to the keeper.
Haiti had a bad give away in the 55th minute at the top of the box from a slack pass from the goalie who made up for it by making a great save in the end. JA legs looked tired as they were taking too long to close down Haiti who was passing the ball around beautifully. 78th minute JA’s McAnuff drove down the right flank to draw a foul at the top of the box. The resulting free kick forced a great save from the keeper.
Haiti had a few corners in the final minutes but couldn’t get a header or shot on target. The final piece of action came in the 82 minute after a sublime pass down the right side of the 6 yard box which the keeper did well to save. Jamaica move on to the Wednesday’s semifinal against the U.S. which will be a tough task.