• Friday Mar 01, 2013

    U.S. eases past Cuba for U-20 final berth

    PUEBLA, Mexico - The United States advanced to the final of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship for the second time in the competition's last three editions, posting a 2-0 semifinal win over Cuba on Friday at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. The Americans will meet the winner of the second semifinal later in the evening between host Mexico and El Salvador.

    It was a particularly satisfying victory for head coach Tab Ramos, especially since three players - including influential midfielder Luis Gil - returned to their clubs after Tuesday's quarterfinal and World Cup clinching triumph over Canada.  Also, Jose Villarreal, the team's leading scorer in Puebla with three goals, missed the encounter due to an ankle injury.

    Cuba's stunning run, and three-match winning streak that earned it a well-deserved place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup later this year, came to an end. Defensive breakdowns in combination with a quick-starting U.S. attack conspired to dig the Caribbean Lions into an early hole, one from which it labored to emerge.

    The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, when Benjamin Joya played a long ball down the left to Mario Rodriguez. The 18-year-old collected it in the box, cut to his right and struck exquisitely inside the near post.

    Still displaying some initial jitters, and possibly fatigue, the Cubans found it challenging to regain their balance. And, in the 11th minute, the U.S. took advantage of its opponents' tentative status once again.

    This time, the always active Daniel Cuevas stole the ball near the midfield line, dribbled down the middle unimpeded and fired off a left-footed shot from 23-yards that found the back of the net after taking a nasty deflection.

    Those early goals seemed to take the wind out of the game's sails.

    Cuba had difficulty stringing passes together and could not locate dangerous forward Maykel Reyes. Despite clear efforts to reverse its fortune, the fluid play that highlighted Cuba's first three games in the tournament failed to materialize.

    The U.S. came close to another goal early in second half, but Joya's free kick from the left dashed past the post.

    On Sunday, Cuba will face the Mexico-El Salvador loser in the match for third place, while the U.S. will compete in its first U-20 championship match since losing to Costa Rica (3-0) in 2009.

  • Champions League

    Related News



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

Ticket Lottery Details Announced for CONCACAF Cup Match between USA and Mexico on October 10 at the Rose Bowl

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced details for the ticketing process to be implemented for the CONCACAF Cup, which is being presented by Scotiabank – the FIFA Confederations Cup playoff match between the United States and Mexico on Saturday, October 10, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA (6 pm PT).

Tickets for the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Sale Later This Month

The Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Local Organizing Committee, US Soccer, announced today that tickets for the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which will be played in the United States from October 1-13, will go on sale later this month. Venues in four different cities will each host two doubleheaders.

Group Seeds and Game Dates Announced for 2016 Copa America Centenario 

Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States Head the Four Groups in the Tournament; Seeded Nations to Visit Nine of the Ten Host Markets in Group Play

CONCACAF Announces Details of Copa America Centenario Play-in Matches, Scheduled for January 8 in Panama

Panama vs. Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago vs. Haiti to determine Confederation’s final two entrants in historic tournament

Ten Metropolitan Areas from Across the United States Selected to Host Copa America Centenario

Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle Will Host Games for the 100-Year Anniversary Edition of the South American Championship