Cuban soccer team collapses in front of Honduras
Carlos Pavon, a veteran of the Italian, Spanish and Mexican soccer leagues scored a remarkable four goals for Honduras.
The Cubans played for their first time in a domed stadium, before a crowd of more than 60,000 soccer fans.
The final score clearly reflected the reality on the field, but not what the Cuban team had shown it its first two games, which had evoked praise from the press and fans.
In those matches against Mexico and Panama the team coached by Raul Gonzalez Triana had managed to avoid an early goal against them. However against Honduras, a steal from Jaime Colome near midfield found the Cuban defense poorly positioned and Pavon had an easy time finding the net at only the third minute of the match.
To make matters worse, at minute eight, a weak defense allowed for a another goal on a header that made the score 2-0, with the Cubans in total disarray, especially in the center, while the Hondurans passed the ball at will.
The Cubans finished with ten players after Cervantes was red carded at minute 86, just before Amado Guevara scored Honduras fifth goal on a penalty shot.
In the other Group C game on Wednesday, Mexico beat Panama 1-0 on a goal by Carlos Salcido at minute 60.
The Hondurans ended on top of Group C with six points the same as Mexico, but took first place because of winning its match against Mexico. In the quarterfinals, the Central Americans will play Guadalupe, the only surviving team from the Caribbean, and Mexico meets Costa Rica.
Guadalupe in Group A and Panama in Group C both qualified for the quarterfinals as the best third place finishers in the tournament.
While Cuba was unable to pass on to the second round, it took advantage of its incursion into the Gold Cup in its preparations for the World Cup qualifying rounds next February. It now has time to make adjustments and come up with new strategies.
Source: Miguel Hernández, Granma