2015 Gold Cup, Group Stage 2015
  • Maykel Reyes (73')

Cuba score first 2015 Gold Cup goal to beat Guatemala, advance to quarters

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Maykel Reyes scored on a header in the 73rd minute to lift Cuba to a 1-0 win over Guatemala on Wednesday night in the CONCCAAF Gold Cup.

Cuba (1-2-0) advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will play the United States on Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Caribbean nation's first goal of the tournament came when Alberto Gomez sent a crossing pass into the center of the box to Reyes, who headed the ball past Paulo Motta. Reyes ripped off his jersey in celebration.

Cuba won despite playing without four players.

Keiler Garcia and Arael Arguellez defected earlier in the tournament, and Dario Saurez and Aricheel Hernandez were no-shows for this game. Neither CONCACAF officials nor the Cuban delegation members offered an immediate explanation as to the absences.

Guatemala finished the tournament 0-2-1.

Cuba dominated the second half and had seven shots on goal to Guatemala's five, and had a chance to score its first goal in the 52nd minute, but Ariel Martinez couldn't put in a header from just outside the goal box after a short pass from Reyes.

The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half with both registering four shots on goal.

Both teams had great opportunities to score.

Guatemala nearly got on the board in the 32nd minute when Ruben Morales sent a crossing pass that Denniss Lopez couldn't quite run down. Lopez made a sliding effort on the right side of the net, but the ball sailed past him and out of play.

Cuba's best opportunity to score in the first half came in the 39th minute when Reyes raced ahead of the field to track down a long pass. But he couldn't control the ball about 12 yards from the net and a hustling Morales caught up and slid to knock the ball out of play.

A few minutes later Guatemala's Jorge Aparico sent a right-footed shot from just outside the box just over the net.