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The Cuban soccer team, in training for the CONCACAF Gold Cup begging June 6 in the US, returned home after a practice game against Venezuelas national squad who will play host in a couple of months to the Copa America.


Despite losing the game Cuban coach Raul Gonzalez Triana said, "Our team is in a great shape considering our current stage of preparation, so I am really impressed." However he added that he thought the team did not respect their rivals enough.

Cubas performance was praised by several of the Venezuelan players including Juan Arango, the star player from Mallorca in the Spainish League.

Two of the three goals scored by the Venezuelans were on penalty kicks.

Defenders Reyxande Fernandez and Jorge Luis Clavelo, did not travel to Venezuela due to minor injuries and are hoping to soon return to the 25-player roster. Triana said he hopes to continue prparations with a match against a team from the Trinidad and Tobago professional league and a tour of Central America and South America leading up to the Gold Cup, in which Cuba will play in group C along with Mexico, Panama and Honduras.

In other Cold Cup preparation matches Mexico defeated Paraguay 2-1, Honduras twice beat El Salvador by a score of 2-0, and Panama got by Haiti 3-0 in Miami and tied in a rematch in Kingston, Jamaica.

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