The United States men’s national team beat Cuba, 2-0, in Havana on Friday evening in the first friendly between the two countries since 1947. It was a rough match for the players as the playing surface was truly awful for a FIFA sanctioned friendly.
Cuba came out of the gates more potent in attack that expected, getting the first shot of the match within the opening five minutes.
Neither team enjoyed much possession with the horrible playing surface becoming a huge factor in each side’s build-up play efforts.
Julian Green carved out the USA’s first good chance of the match with some skillful play on the left flank. His resulting shot was kicked away but the Cuba goalkeeper.
The U.S. look its best when attacking down the left side in the first half, but were unable to find a breakthrough.
Cuba came out of the halftime break looking the more dangerous side. They hit the post with a shot in the 57th minute, coming the closest to breaking the deadlock.
Second half substitute Chris Wondolowski gave the U.S. the lead just after the hour mark, knocking in a rebound off of shot from Green.
Soon after the opening goal, the hosts began pushing for an equalizer and were very unlucky not to get it. They hit the post for a second time in the half with a header from close range.
The U.S. doubled their lead in the 71st after Green tapped in off a squared ball by Wondolowski.
- Outside of the historical significance of the match, it’s really hard to learn anything at all with the poor playing conditions.
- Julian Green was the most dangerous player for the U.S. in the first half.
- Ethan Horvath also looked sharp in goal, making a few saves.
- Many players struggled with the playing surface, chief among them being Christian Pulisic. He looked completely lost trying to control the ball on the horrid field. He was subbed off at halftime.
- Cuba looked very competent on the day to credit them.
- It was just a downright difficult match to watch.
The U.S. head back to the States to take on New Zealand at RFK Stadium. Kickoff is Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN and UniMas.