Cuba 0-0 — 0
United States 4-2 — 6
The United States took advantage of a shorthanded Cuba team with a 6-0 victory in the quarterfinals. The US onslaught of goals started in the 4th minute and rapidly progressed from there. The United States was led by Clint Dempsey’s hat trick. Dempsey continued his hot streak with three more goals against Cuba.
The victory sends the United States to the 2015 Gold Cup semifinals. A Gold Cup championship would send the United States to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
While Cuba was certainly undermanned, this was the best United States performance of the tournament. The team did not seem to miss Jozy Altidore’s presence in the match. They will play the winner of the Jamaica and Haiti match on July 22nd.
Here is exactly how the United States beat Cuba including the many highlights of goals scored:
The Starting XI in a World Without Jozy Altidore
Fans were eager to find out just who would be replacing Jozy Altidore now that he is longer with the team. Aron Jóhannsson started up front with Clint Dempsey. Gyasi Zardes also started at midfield. Zardes has been a huge energy boost thus far in the tournament and is a recent addition to the starting line-up.
Clint Dempsey Found the Back of the Net Early in the Match
Clint Dempsey scored in the 4′ minute of the match on this beautiful header. Dempsey has been red hot during the tournament including a two goal performance against Honduras. This would be the first of many goals on the night for Dempsey in one of his most memorable performances as a USMNT member.
Gyasi Zardes Scored an Early 2nd Goal for the United States
Shortly after Dempsey’s header, Zardes scored on this beautiful play. Just 10 minutes into the match and the United States found themselves up 2-0. This was by far the best performance by the United States in the Gold Cup. Cuba looked deflated after this goal and was never really in the match.
Aron Jóhannsson Put the United States up 3 Goals
Johannsson’s pretty shot over the goalie’s head put the United States up 3-0. It was at this point that the United States appeared to be heading to the semifinals. They will await the winner of Haiti and Jamaica.
Omar Gonzalez Rounded Out the First Half with a Goal
Gonzalez scored the United States’ fourth goal of the match on a corner kick from Michael Bradley. The fourth goal happened just before halftime and put the US up 4-0 against Cuba.
Jozy Altidore Counted the Victory Early in the 2nd Half
Altidore showed that despite no longer being on the US roster he is still actively rooting for his former teammates. With just over 30 minutes remaining in the match, Jozy Altidore tweeted out “3 points” referring to a presumed US victory. Altidore struggled with his play during the US group stages and was not included on the final Gold Cup roster by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Clint Dempsey Scored His 2nd Goal of the Match
Clint Dempsey scored his second goal of the match against Cuba on this tricky penalty kick. It was his second two-goal performance of the 2015 Gold Cup. He also scored two goals in the Gold Cup opener against Honduras. That would all change in a few short minutes.
Clint Dempsey Completed His First USMNT Hat Trick
Dempsey scored his third goal of the match and had his first ever hat trick for the United States. The goal gave Dempsey a total of 6 goals for the Gold Cup, which is the most of anyone in the tournament. The next player behind him has 3 goals. While Dempsey has had hat tricks in his career, he has never had one while wearing a United States jersey.