Cuba has kissed goodbye to Brazil 2014 World Cup finals following a three-nil home defeat by Honduras.
In a well-contested match at Cuba’s Pedro Marrero national stadium in Havana on Friday, Cuba displayed a very entertaining game but poor finishing could not favour the day for the home team.
Following defensive lapses in first half, forward Jerry Bengston took advantage of the loose ball near the penalty spot to strike home Honduras’ opening goal. The goal awoke the home side although they failed to get an equaliser going into the break.
The second half looked more balanced with Cuba pressing forward, but again strikers were at sea when called to action.
Veteran midfielder Jaine Colomé was introduced for Ariel Martinez in the 52nd minute bringing more attacking force for Cuba.
The home side wasted two clear scoring chances in the 54th and 56th minutes.
In the 61st minute, Honduras was awarded a free kick and central defender Víctor Bernárdez’s low drive avoided the poorly assembled Cuban wall, heading straight into the net for the second goal.
The visiting side introduced Marvin Antonio Chavez for Welcome George in the 69th minute and the midfielder made an instant impact.
His skills brought more misery to the Cuban midfield and defence, thereby shattering any chances of attack for the home side.
Cuba came close to scoring in the 91st minute but it was Honduras who cleared the ball and staged a counterattack with Chavez who ran from the centreline to coolly score the third goal.
Cuban coach Alexander Gonzalez said Honduras was superior in all aspects of the game.
“With this defeat we say goodbye to the tie qualifying for 2014 World Cup and we shall take the remaining matches as preparation for the forthcoming Caribbean Cup,” said Gonzalez.