Brek Shea scores to lead U.S. team over Costa Rica in Gold Cup
In the 54th minute, Pemberton stopped a shot from Chris Wondolowski outside the box after colliding with his own defender. Pemberton was given a yellow card for the stop and the Americans were awarded a free kick just outside the box.
Jose Torres curled the shot to the top corner of the near post, but Pemberton was able to just get his hand on it. The loose ball bounced to Donovan, who failed to get enough on the shot to truly test Pemberton.
Costa Rica later got its own free kick when Stuart Holden was called for a late sliding tackle. But much like the Americans, they couldn’t piece it together. Borges sent the free kick clear of the frame with 30 minutes left in the second half.
Borges got another chance 10 minutes later in the second half on a corner. But the ball was punched out by Johnson and then cleared by Holden. Costa Rica followed shortly after on another corner, which was cleared by Mix Diskerud.
Damarcus Beasley, who is wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in his long national team career, found himself in the middle of the action early.
Only two minutes into the game, the veteran provided the Americans with its first chance of the half when he sent a shot from just inside the box wide of the goal. Then four minutes later, he had to walk off the field after taking the knee of Costa Rican Rodney Wallace to the head. Despite a few lingering moments on the ground, Beasley walked off and then returned to play shortly.
The Americans were lucky he did.
With Costa Rica pressing high on the American defense, Beasley was a stabilizing factor on defense, including in the 80th minute when he cleared a dangerous through ball out of bounds.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Ariel Martinez had three goals and Jeniel Molina scored in stoppage time to help Cuba beat Belize 4-0 in their final game of Group C competition in the Gold Cup.
Cuba (1-2) advanced to the Gold Cup quarterfinals based on goal differential. It entered the match needing four goals to move on to the next round of competition ahead of Martinque as one of the top third-place teams.
The victory was the first for Cuba in 14 Gold Cup games and gives the team its first quarterfinal appearance since 2003.
Molina put home the fourth goal late in stoppage time to help Cuba advance. Belize (0-3) was eliminated with the defeat.
In the final minutes, Cuba did everything it could to move on.
Barely two minutes before Molina’s dramatic strike, Cuba had another goal called back on an off-sides call and throughout the final 10 minutes it sent several shots onto Belize goalie Woodrow West.
©2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
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