Balón de fútbol. Foto: / Archivo.

Soccer: Cuba opens with victory in the Concacaf U-20 World Cup

The cuban soccer team defeated this Saturday 1×0 to its similar from Canada in the sub-20 pre-world championship of the North, Central America and Caribbean Football Confederation (CONCACAF), which is held in Honduras and is a qualifying round for the 2023 Indonesia World Cup and the Olympic Games of Paris 2024.

The hero of the match for the Antilleans was Kevin Martín, who not only scored the only goal, but also finished the match as goalkeeper, after the expulsion of the Island’s starting guard, refers the website Hit.

According to international media reports, the first half was hotly contested in the middle of the field by the two teams, at the José de la Paz Herrera National Stadium, in Tegucigalpa. Nevertheless, Hit recognizes a “superior Canadian management”, although with greater scoring opportunities for Cuba.

Finally, in minute 42 “an error in the departure of the North Americans, derived from the Cuban pressure on the center-backs, left the Camagüey´s midfielder alone before the goalkeeper and he did not forgive”, reports the sports publication.

In the second half Canada intensified the pressure to seek at least the equalizer, with arrivals from the wings and the center, and shots from long and medium distance, but it was not effective, while Cuba opted for the counterattack and was about to achieve the second target.

But in the 73rd minute, goalkeeper Ismel Morgado “recklessly left the area and ‘overwhelmed’ a rival, which cost him the red card,” he points out. Hit. Then, without the possibility of making any more changes, Martín put on his gloves to defend the goal, which in the end would not be breached by the Canadians, despite playing 24 minutes with an extra man.

“It was a tough match, but the guys did what we trained for all this time. We made a defensive approach when we didn’t have the ball and an offensive approach with quick transitions with the ball. We never lost order and idea and despite some mistakes we knew how to correct, we defended the goal well and the victory came out, which was what we expected”, commented the Cuban coach, Yunielys Castillo, after the victory.

“I am very happy to score the goal and help the team. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, especially my family. The whole team is very satisfied with what has been achieved today”, pointed out, for his part, Kevin Martín.

In accordance with Hitthis success “puts the Cubans in a very advantageous position after the United States’ 10×0 win against Saint Kitts and Nevis in the other match of group E.”

“Bearing in mind that Saint Kitts is presented as an inferior rival, it is wise to predict Cuba’s second success against them. And so we can not only announce the classification of those from the Greater Antilles to the round of 16, but with at least two victories they would avoid the strongest rivals and that opens up greater opportunities to reach the quarterfinals”, analyzes the specialized publication.

If they reach that stage, the Cubans would be in a position to fight for one of the four tickets distributed by the competition for the 2023 Indonesian U-20 World Cup; a goal, however, very complicated.

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