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USMNT beats Cuba 4-0, tops Group A in Concacaf Nations League

Braces by both Jordan Morris and Josh Sargent lead the U.S. past Cuba.

The U.S. men’s national team routed Cuba 4-0 Tuesday night in George Town, Cayman Islands to win Group A in the Concacaf Nations League.

Josh Sargent put the Americans up 1-0 inside the first 36 seconds at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, which has been treated as Cuba’s home venue throughout the tournament, and from there, the U.S. never really looked back.

Jordan Morris, who is now the tournament’s leading scorer with four goals, added to the U.S. lead with strikes in the 26th and 39th minutes. Sargent scored 11 minutes into the second half to make it 4-0.

With the win, the U.S. advances to face Honduras in the Nations League semifinals next June. If the U.S. wins that game, it will play either Costa Rica or Mexico in the final later that month.

Canada, which finished second in Group A on goal differential, handed the U.S. its only loss of the tournament so far in October, though the Americans recovered by taking a 4-1 victory against their northern neighbors in Orlando last Friday.

But the U.S. needed a win Tuesday against Cuba to guarantee first place in the group.

The U.S. got to work quickly on the patchy grass field at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex with a small smattering of U.S. fans in attendance.

With only half a minute off the clock, U.S. right back DeAndre Yedlin sent a throw-in down the flank for Paul Arriola, who raced toward the end line and sent a low cross into the heart of the box, where Sargent emerged to poke the feed off Cuba goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez from point-blank range.

The U.S. continued to attack Cuba’s wings with Weston McKennie, Cristian Roldan and Jackson Yueill patrolling rebounds and loose balls in the center of the pitch and at the top of the box.

Morris doubled the lead when he emerged unmarked on the left side of the box after controlling McKennie’s pass out of midfield and fired past Sanchez.

The U.S. made it 3-0 off a play that came from two set pieces.

First, Sanchez parried a diving header from Roldan off a Daniel Lovitz freekick. On the ensuing corner, Aaron Long advanced out of central defense and sent a looping chip toward Cuba’s net. Though the chip appeared to have been headed over Sanchez’s head and in for a score, Morris arrived late to poke the ball in himself for his 10th international goal.

Sargent secured his brace in the 56th minute. He collected Tyler Boyd’s back heel in the box after Boyd raced to the end line to reach a cross from McKennie, then slammed a first-time drive past Sanchez to make it 4-0.

The USMNT is now 11-1-1 all-time against Cuba, which sits 175th in the current FIFA World Rankings.

The U.S. also concludes 2019 at 11-5-2.

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