KENYA BROWN - Monday, October 10, 2016
Goals from Chris Wondolowski and Julian Green in the second half helped the United States to a win over Cuba at the Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana.
While the game was seen as an historic international friendly between two countries that had fractured relations for decades, for the US side, it was the first opportunity for the team to prepare itself for start of CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifiers in November.
The US came away victorious, but the big issue for the game was the quality of the field as they had difficulty in the first half. Cuba, on the other hand, had several good chances at opening the scoring. Roberney Caballero had an effort from long range well-saved by goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, who earned his first senior cap in this game. Aricheel Hernandez would then test Horvath minutes later from close range, but the 21-year-old would again withstand the pressure.
On to the second half and the Cubans picked up where they left off from the first. Maikel Reyes came close to scoring in the 57th minute as his shot beat Horvath, but not the post.
The visitors would finally open the scoring in the 62nd minute when Green's right-footed shot was saved by Cuban goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez, but Wondolowski would be there to put away the rebound.
Being a goal down did not stop the relentless Cubans as they came close to leveling the score in the 64th minute, but once again the post came to the aid of the Americans.
The US would go on to score their second of the day in the 71st minute as Green tapped in the ball from a pass by Wondolowski.
It was not the best of the performances by the US, but hopefully things will improve in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday when they take on New Zealand.