MNT Jul 8, 2005
- U.S. Gets Three Goals in Six-Minute Span Late to Pull Away in Tight Match
- Landon Donovan Scores Two Goals to Move Into a Tie for Third Place All-Time in MNT History
- Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley Also Score as U.S. Comes Back From One-Goal Deficit
- U.S. Faces Canada in Second Group B Game on Saturday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. PT at Qwest Field
SEATTLE (July 7, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Team fell behind in the first half before responding with four unanswered goals, including three in the final six minutes of the match, to open up the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 4-1 victory over Cuba this evening in front of 15,831 fans at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash.
After trading goals in the first half, it appeared the U.S. might only pull a point out of their meeting with Cuba, but second-half substitute Landon Donovan energized the team’s offensive attack and supplied the game-winner with a magnificent free kick in the 87th minute. Three minutes later, the U.S. had a two-goal lead as DaMarcus Beasley got behind the Cuban defense and buried his strike past Odelin Molina. The two former teammates at the youth level then connected for the fourth and final strike as Beasley set up Donovan for an easy finish directly in front of the goal.
The two-goal game for Donovan, which came in just 24 minutes of work, gives him 24 goals with the first team, tying with Joe-Max Moore for third all-time in men’s national team history. The game was Donovan’s fifth multi-goal game, and his second in the Gold Cup, as he now has seven goals in the CONCACAF tournament, which puts him one behind Brian McBride and two behind Eric Wynalda all-time.
“I’m certainly happy with the win,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena. “I think the Cubans did quite well. They played well defensively and the early goal put us in a difficult position. The goal right before halftime was a big goal for us. We felt over 90 minutes that they would fatigue and we would create some chances. Having the opportunity to give some players their first international experience was good for us and at the same time it was a great test because Cuba played quite well.” (Post Game Quotes)
Arena handed the captain’s armband to Chris Armas, who played his 10th career Gold Cup match. Three players were given their first international caps, defender Jimmy Conrad and midfielders Brad Davis and Santino Quaranta making their debut for the senior team.
Even with the fairly new lineup, the U.S. dictated the pace from the opening whistle, enjoying much of the possession and displaying a varied attack with either long balls to the front runners or quick combinations through the middle. Despite the control, they were unable to create many quality scoring chances, a failure that would haunt them in the 18th minute as Cuba took the early lead.
The play started with a failed clearance attempt from Beasley, the ball bouncing off a Cuban midfielder’s head and into the path of Alain Cervantes. He managed to elude Frankie Hejduk and Ben Olsen, curling a left-footed cross to the far post. Tony Sanneh attempted to recover to his man, but couldn’t get a foot on the ball and Lester More volleyed it past a sliding Hahnemann for the 1-0 lead.
The goal was Cuba’s first against the U.S. since Sept. 21, 1949, and marked the first time the USA went down a goal in Gold Cup group play since the opening game of the 1996 Gold Cup, a 3-2 win against Trinidad & Tobago.
The U.S. picked up the pace at the half hour mark, creating several opportunities as Conor Casey put a 16-yard strike on goal and Quaranta missed wide left after recovering a cross too high for Beasley at the back post.
Despite the pressure, it looked as though the U.S. would go into the halftime down, but they were able to grab the equalizer just before the halftime whistle, as a well executed counter-attack ended with Clint Dempsey’s second international goal. A steal from Sanneh at midfield launched the attack, finding Casey who pushed the ball wide to a wide-open Beasley. With time to settle, Beasley chipped a cross onto the path of Dempsey, whose perfectly timed run foiled the Cuban offside trap. With Cubans hands raised in protest, Dempsey chested the ball down and picked out the right corner with the outside of his right foot.
In the second half, the U.S. kept their foot on the pedal from the get-go, nearly getting the go-ahead goal five minutes in. Brad Davis, an increasing presence on the left flank, whipped a cross into the box that landed at the feet of Beasley. His right-footed shot was blocked, bouncing to Dempsey on the back post. Dempsey’s follow-up from eight yards rifled off the outside of the side netting.
The game changed moments later with Cuba having a player sent off. Midfielder Jaime Colome was attempting a clearance near midfield, his follow through planting a studs-up kick in the chest of Ben Olsen, earning a red card and at least a one-match suspension.
It was Davis again providing the spark in the 53rd minute, playing a nice one-two that sprung him into the box, where he slotted a low ball behind the Cuban defense. Dempsey slid to get on the end of it, but could only manage to knock it over the bar.
The U.S continued to pour on the pressure, and in the 66th minute brought on Donovan for Casey, before also making a pair of offensive substitutions in the 76th minute as Josh Wolff and John O’Brien entered for Olsen and Davis. The appearance marked John O’Brien’s first match for the national team in over two years, his last action coming in this very stadium against Venezuela on March 29, 2003.The substitutions helped the U.S. attack and was eventually the difference maker in the match.
Donovan did both parts in getting the game-winner by first winning a free kick at the top of the box after being fouled from behind and then by smashing a brilliant free kick past Molina in the 87th minute. Donovan drilled a curling shot over the left side of the wall and placed it high into the left side netting.
Three minutes later, the U.S. made it a two-goal lead when Quaranta played a wonderful through ball for Beasley into the right side of the penalty area. Beasley used his speed to distance himself from his defender and calmly buried it past Molina.
It appeared the U.S. would just keep possession and run out the clock, but another opportunity evolved and they took advantage. Dempsey played a ball into the left side of the penalty area for Beasley, who quickly played it square across the goal to Donovan for the easy finish.
In less than 48 hours the U.S. will play Canada in game two of Group B action, kicking off at Qwest Field at 1:30 p.m. PT. The USA closes out group play against Costa Rica on July 12 in Foxboro, Mass. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET. Both matches will be broadcast live on Telefutura, and fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
-- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Cuba
Date: July 7, 2005
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup
Venue: Qwest Field – Seattle, Washington
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 68 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
Cuba 1 0 1
CUB – Lester More (Alain Cervantes) 18th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey (DaMarcus Beasley) 45.
USA – Landon Donovan (free kick) 87.
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (Santino Quaranta) 90.
USA – Landon Donovan (DaMarcus Beasley) 92+
USA: 1-Marcus Hahnemann; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 22-Tony Sanneh; 14-Chris Armas (capt.), 15-Ben Olsen (16-Josh Wolff, 76), 9-Santino Quaranta, 21-Brad Davis (5-John O’Brien, 76), 8-Clint Dempsey; 11-Conor Casey (10-Landon Donovan 66), 7-DaMarcus Beasley
Subs not used: 18-Kasey Keller, 4-Oguchi Onyewu, 6-Steve Cherundolo, 19-Steve Ralston
Head Coach: Bruce Arena
CUB: 1-Odelin Molina (capt.); 16-Reysander Fernandez, 3-Yenier Marquez, 5-Alexander Cruzata, 2-Silvio Minoso; 8-Disney Aquino, 14-Jaime Colone, 6-Enrique Villauruttia, 9-Alain Cervantes; 10-Lester More (18-Leonel Duartes, 57), 13-Maykel Galindo (11-Mario Gil, 77)
Subs not used: 12-Alexis Aviles, 4-Mario Rodriguez, 15-Gisbel Morales, 17-Pedro Faife, 19-Jensis Munoz
Head Coach: Armelio Garcia
Stats Summary: USA CUB
Shots 17 5
Shots on goal 5 3
Saves 3 2
Corner Kicks 8 2
Fouls 14 12
Offside 2 5
USA – Tony Sanneh (caution) 46th minute.
CUB – Jaime Colome (ejection) 50.
USA – Frankie Hejduk (caution) 53.
CUB – Silvio Minoso (caution) 87.
USA – DaMarcus Beasley (caution) 89.
Referee: Jose Pineda (HON)
1st Asst.: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
2nd Asst.: Arturo Velasquez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Roberto Morneo (PAN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Landon Donovan