Wondo overcomes misspelling to bag Gold Cup treble

by Neil Sherwin

USA 2The USA cruised to a comfortable 6-1 win over Belize in their first Gold Cup group game with Chris Wondolowski bagging a first half hattrick.

With Canada and Mexico both suffering surprise defeats in the last few days, the US were keen to make sure that they didn’t follow suit.

San Jose Earthquakes striker Wondolowski recovered from having his name misspelled on his shirt (see right) to net three times in the opening 45 minutes.

Wondolowski, who was the MLS top scorer in 2012, has struggled to find the net this time season at club level but found his form just at the right time for the national side.

USA 1Belize, who were gifted their playing kits for the tournament by Nike, gave the Americans a brief scare when they made it 2-1 through Ian Gaynair in the 39th minute before Wondolowski restored the two goal gap a minute later.

In the second half, Stuart Holden bagged his first international goal since returning from long term injuries, before Michael Orozco and Landon Donovan, from the penalty spot, also scored.

Sadly for Belize, their goal made little impression on the official US Soccer Twitter account who took it away from them just minutes after the full time whistle.

Belize goal

The game was held at JELD-WEN field, home of the Portland Timbers, and their fans put on an impressive pre-game display in support of their country (see above).

In the group’s other game overnight, Costa Rica cruised to a 3-0 win over Cuba thanks to brace from Michael Barrantes, who has a son named ‘Arjen’ after Dutch winger Arjen Robben, and a strike from Columbus Crew’s Jairo Arrieta.

Pics via Ives Galarcep and Don Ruiz.

Author Info

Neil Sherwin

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com and BackPageRugby.com. Writes mostly on Premier League, A-League and MLS with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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