U.S. survives Cuba scare in Gold Cup

The United States men's national team overcame a slow start at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to earn a 4-1 victory in its Gold Cup clash with Cuba.

The Americans looked sluggish from the opening whistle and paid the price as Cuba grabbed the lead in the 36th minute.

Edgar Castillo was beaten down the left side of the U.S. penalty area and Jose Nieto Martinez was first to the cross, beating Oguchi Onyewu and smashing a half-volley past Nick Rimando.

The U.S. managed to get on level terms before the close of the first half after Castillo was brought down in the box, allowing Landon Donovan to even things up by converting the ensuing penalty kick.

The second half belonged to the U.S. as the Americans played with more intensity. They claimed the lead in the 57th minute when Joe Corona bagged his first career international goal, firing a sensational first-time shot just inside Odelin Molina's left post from outside the box.

Chris Wondolowski entered the match one minute later and continued his torrid scoring form by following his hat trick against Belize with a brace in the final 32 minutes.

The San Jose Earthquakes striker made it three for the U.S. by redirecting Kyle Beckerman's cross to the near post just over the head of Molina in the 66th minute and wrapped up the affair five minutes from time by capitalizing on a failed clearance to smash home a late insurance goal.

The result sees the U.S. clinch a spot in the quarterfinals along with Costa Rica, which edged Belize, 1-0, on Saturday thanks to an own goal from Dalton Eiley in the 49th minute.