United States to play Cuba in Gold Cup quarterfinals

Screen shot 2015-07-17 at 9.24.07 AMThe Caribbean nation overcame a rough start to the tournament to qualify for the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Guatemala.

The United States will face Cuba in the Gold Cup quarterfinals after the Caribbean nation defeated Guatemala 1-0 on Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The teams will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in Baltimore, with Jamaica facing Haiti in the second half of that double-header. Sunday’s matchups in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will see Mexico take on Costa Rica and Panama face Trinidad and Tobago.

With no team in Group B securing more than two points Tuesday, Panama had already confirmed its placement into the quarterfinals. Since Panama also was in Group A with the United States, the teams could not meet in the quarterfinals — guaranteeing the U.S. would play Guatemala, Cuba or El Salvador, depending on the outcome of the Group C contest Wednesday.

Cuba’s tournament got off to a rough start following the unavailability of six players and its head coach, Raul Gonzalez Triana, because of visa issues. Cuba promptly fell 6-0 to Mexico, then lost two more players to defections and dropped a 2-0 result to Trinidad and Tobago in the second group game.

But Maikel Reyes’ 73rd-minute goal was enough to give Cuba the 1-0 over Guatemala, three points, and a spot in the quarterfinals as one of the third-place qualifiers.

The U.S. and Cuba met two years ago in the Gold Cup group stage, with the U.S. taking a 4-1 victory after falling behind 1-0.

By Ben Valentine, Goal

July 15, 2015

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