Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cuba - USA running blog

Already started, I'm late to the party because of traffic.

18 - Good non-call there, the U.S. was defending but there was no foul.
23 - Ball into the box - the U.S. players go up for it, but not only does it get punched out, someone gets whistled for a foul.
24 - Dempsey pushes someone on the attack and gets called for the foul.
26 - Hejduk gets fouled hard by Villegas - who sees a yellow for it.
27 - Off the free kick (a poor one by Beas), LD gets onto the ball, tries to set something up, but the ball is moving very funky on the wet field and nothing comes of the effort.
28 - Luis, who is watching the match in the press box here at the HDC as well, votes that this match is more poorly lit and difficult to watch than the Guatemala match. Whose bright idea it was to make this a night match?
30 - Ching's poor touch ruins a great chance off a good pass from M. Bradley in front of the net. Instead, the ball runs long.
33 - Cuba attacks and the U.S. shuts it down, but Edu loses the ball in a bad spot in the middle, leading to a long shot. Howard is yelling at his defenders, even though the shot was wide by quite a bit.
The Spanish announcers call Timmay "Howard the Duck", by the way.
36 - M. Bradley gets a yellow for a foul - late tackle.
39 - Hejduk's hard work on the right earns a corner for the U.S. It gets knocked out for a throw.
40 - GOAL! Gooch with a long pass out of the back. Demps knocks it down a bit, gets it to Ching, who lays the ball back for Dempsey. LD distracts the defense a little bit with a run, and there's enough space left for Clint to do his thing - he fires a low shot past the keeper.1-0 U.S.
43 - LD lays the ball back for Chingy, but his shot gets blocked off a defender.
45 - Cuban FK but it's way wide of goal and Howard jumps more for practice than anything else.
45 + Dempsey is down, injured when he was grabbed by behind. There was a foul by Hejduk just before that, so Cuba gets a free kick. They don't get to do anything much with it, though.
Halftime - Under bad conditions, the U.S. team gets a scrappy goal from, no surprise, their biggest scrapper - Clint Dempsey. In a rainy game, though, anything can happen. The game is still within Cuba's reach.
46 A shot to start off the half! Howard back pedals for it, but it's over the bar.
The pressbox is drinking Cuba Libres. Virgin ones, of course.
51 - Cuba has a corner kick. The U.S. clear the danger.
53 - Cuba is playing a more open game, and not looking bad at it, either.
55 - Cuba's got the ball in the box - it's headed out before a shot happens.
56 - Cuba corner kick - cleared.
57 - The U.S. defense is looking really sorry now. Cuba on a counter, low, hard shot, Howard with a great save gets down low for it.
59 - Edu with a shot from distance. He teed off on it, but it's wide.
60 - Dempsey with a shot from distance - it's wide because it bounced off a Cuban defender. Corner for the U.S.
LD takes the kick but a U.S. foul turns the ball over.
62 - Bizarre. Beas beats the goalkeeper to a pass over the top, holds the ball while keep dives and misses, has the whole goal in front of him and shoots wide. Ugh. There's a quick shot of U.S. fans. If they weren't covering their faces before, they should now.
65 - Hejduk is playing quite well. He must be fueled by the Cuban coffee.
67 - Bease misses again! Oh, well, it was called offside anyway. It was close on the replay, though. Even is on.
69 - Another Cuban shot! A bit high.
71 - Chingy gets fouled hard. Yellow card gets pulled as LD helps him up.
75 - The U.S. is controlling the ball a bit more - Handball! Oh, well, I guess not if it's not called.
77 - Bease is called offside again.
78 - Sacha is on for the U.S. He replaced Dempsey.
80 - LD with a nice pass to Sacha, but Sach gets shouldered off the ball. No call.
83 - U.S. FK. LD takes, sends it in nicely, but it ends up going to Bease and he can't get a shot off.
85 - Pearce with a pretty cross - or it was until it overshot every U.S. player. To be fair, there were three of them crashing the middle. Spread that out, guys. Cuba counters and gets a shot off, but it's far and Howard gets there.
87 - The LIGHTS HAVE GONE OUT! I'd fault Communist technology, but it's happened at the HDC before, actually.
88 - Cuba with a freekick in a dangerous spot. It's sent to the box, where it deflects off and heads towards goal, surprising Howard, who gives up a rebound as Cuba rushes in. He gets down for the ball, though, and grabs it away.
90 + It's almost over, but Cuba is attacking furiously. It's very hard to see what's happening, though. A long cross overshoots a forward, and Howard escorts the ball over the line for a goal kick.
Ching with a shot - right to the keep.
Final whistle!
The U.S. takes the historic match by a single goal. It wasn't pretty or elegant, but the bottom line is that the U.S. has taken full points in both away qualifying games.
Hey, readers, you and I were right about the game in the poll. "Close victory" won, and that's how things turned out.
Post your Man of the Match in the comments. My vote goes to Clint Dempsey - for obvious reasons, I'm sure. Tim Howard is also a solid candidate.


Anonymous said...

good to have you, andrea.

saludos, d

Rudy said...

Yeah, that was a pretty horrid job by Ching in the first half.

Anonymous said...

schwartz is such a pain in the butt

Anonymous said...

le falta claridad a los cubanos, dominan, pero no llegan

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