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USA escape Cuba with crucial 1-0 win

In a historic football match the United States escaped Havana ahead of Hurricane Ike with a 1-0 win over Cuba. The match between the nations, the first on Cuban soil since 1947 was a dour affair, providing little excitement or attacking football. The United States used a goal in minute 40 by Clint Dempsey to get the three points. However, the US was outshot by the Cubans and outplayed for much of the match also.

Last month Cuba dropped its first qualifier in the group stage by giving up three quick goals to Trinidad and Tobago in the same stadium. Yet when playing the US, the Cubans seemed more focused and more lively on the ball. Could this have been due to the political circumstances surrounding the game, or an indictment of the overall quality of the US side?

Tim Howard made several reaction saves to ensure the US went home with three points and a first place spot in the group which also included Trinidad and Tobago as well as Guatemala. Those two sides drew on Saturday leaving the United States with 6 points, T&T with 4, Guatemala with 1, and Cuba with 0.

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