U.S. men's soccer team shuts out Cuba

UPI 2 weeks ago

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The United States Men's National Team shut out Cuba 4-0 in a CONCACAF Nations League matchup in the Cayman Islands.

Josh Sargent and Jordan Morris each scored twice in the lopsided affair Tuesday at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, sending the Americans to the semifinals. The United States finished 3-1 in Group A, trying with Canada in the group stage. The Americans advanced in first place due to a better goal differential. Cuba finished 0-4 in the group stage.

"We talked about getting off to a good start and not letting off of the gas [pedal] and we did that," U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter told reporters.

Sargent drew first blood just 36 seconds into the match. Paul Arriola sent a cross into the box at the start of the sequence. The ball drifted toward the net before Sargent poked a shot past Cuba goalie Sandy Sanchez for a 1-0 lead.

Morris doubled the lead in the 26th minute. Midfielder Weston McKennie flicked a header pass onto Morris during that exchange. The ball dropped in front of Morris as he ran into the box. Morris finished the play by netting a shot into the right side of the net.

Morris added his second score in the 39th minute, giving the U.S. team a 3-0 lead at halftime. Defender Aaron Long collected two rebounds in the box before chipping a short cross in front of the goal during that sequence. Morris collected the high feed by tapping it into the net with his right foot from point-blank range.

Sargent scored the final goal of the match in the 66th minute. Tyler Boyd brought down a cross with a far-post run at the start of that sequence. He brought the ball down and flicked it backward with his right boot. The blind feed found a wide-open Sargent, who netted a left-footed shot past a diving Sanchez.

The U.S. team battles Honduras in the Nations League semifinals in June. Mexico battles Costa Rica.

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