DALLAS - Costa Rica got the Gold Cup off to
a goal-filled start on Sunday by hammering Cuba 5-0 at Cowboy
Stadium with striker Marco Urena scoring twice.
Urena, in for the injured Bryan Ruiz in the Costa Rica
attack, opening the scoring in the Group A encounter in the
seventh minute with a smart, close range finish at the near post
after good work down the left from Christian Bolanos.
Cuba went close to an equaliser just moments later when
Alain Cervantes found Albert Gomez with a delightful pass but
the striker lifted his shot over the bar.
That was the last chance of any real note from the Cubans,
who, playing on the unfamiliar artificial surface, were
outclassed by a Costa Rica side coached by the experienced
Argentine Ricardo La Volpe.
The impressive Alvaro Saborio hit the post with a
well-struck shot from the edge of the area before he got on the
score-sheet four minutes before the break - latching on to a
long ball from Bolanos and slotting past Odelin Molina in the
Cuba's discipline in defence fell apart though a minute
after the restart when an unmarked Urena raced on to a long ball
over the top and rounded Molina to make it 3-0.
Just a minute later and it was virtually a carbon copy goal
as the busy Heiner Mora this time found himself alone behind the
Cuban back line and also rounded the keeper before slotting
It was one-way traffic from then on and Costa Rica did their
goal difference no harm when Mora broke down the right and his
cross to the back post was met by substitute Joe Campbell, who
blasted the ball into the far corner.
"Obviously I am pleased with the result but there are still
some things to work on," said La Volpe.
"We need to be more precise in certain areas," said the
former Mexico coach, who had been booed by Mexico fans in the
stadium ahead of their team's game against El Salvador.
Every time La Volpe's face appeared on the giant screen at
the stadium there were whistles and jeers but the coach, who was
in charge of Mexico from 2002 to 2006, laughed off the abuse.
"If they are booing me, I'd hate to think what they would do
to some of their other coaches," he said.
Cuba head coach Raul Gonzalez now has the unenviable task of
preparing his team to face group favourites Mexico.
"We will have to work hard to get ourselves right
emotionally for that game and these five goals certainly don't
help," he said.
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