USMNT cruises past Cuba to book place in Nations League semifinals

USMNT cruises past Cuba to book place in Nations League semifinals

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USMNT cruises past Cuba to book place in Nations League semifinals

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Scoring early and often was what Gregg Berhalter wanted from his team in Tuesday’s Concacaf Nations clash with Cuba, and the U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t need long to get things going.

The Americans needed just 36 seconds, in fact.

A Josh Sargent goal in the opening minute helped set the tone for a comfortable USMNT victory, as Jordan Morris’ added two more goals on the way to a 4-0 win in the Cayman Islands.

The victory helped the United States secure first place in its Nations League group, edging out Canada on goal difference. The USMNT will now move on to the Nations League semifinals in June, joining Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica. The semifinal matchups will be determined by Tuesday’s matches, including Mexico’s match with Bermuda.

Paul Arriola helped open the scoring when he served a ball toward the front of goal, where Sargent jumped in to bundle it past Cuba’s goalkeeper just 36 seconds into the match.

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Morris made it 2-0 in the 26th, collecting a flicked header from Weston McKennie, settling it with an excellent touch before lining up a right-footed shot for the finish.

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Morris scored his second of the night in the 39th minute with plenty of help from Aaron Long, who sent a deflected shot floating toward goal before Morris got a final touch on the ball just before it was set to cross the line.

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The second half was a plodding affair, with the Americans struggling to find a rhythm. They finally found a second-half goal in the 66th minute when Tyler Boyd back-heeled a Reggie Cannon cross into the path of Sargent, who notched his second goal of the night from close range to make the score 4-0.

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The Americans nearly found a fifth goal when Alfredo Morales volleyed home a dangerous shot with his first touch after entering as a replacement for Weston McKennie, only to have Cuban goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez make a stunning reaction save.

USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan recorded two saves to notch the 20th shutout of his national team career, making him the fifth American to reach that mark.

The victory marked the first win on the road for the Americans since 2016, breaking a stretch of 11 road matches without a victory.

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