Cuba’s Roberto Linares scored three goals to lead Cuba to a commanding ‘s 4-0 victory over Antigua and Barbuda and into the semifinals round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Linares opened the scoring after just eight minutes before a Havana crowd of just about 2,000 fans in a country where soccer is not nearly as popular as baseball.
Linares and fellow center forward Leonel Duarte kept the Antigen’s busy throughout the first half until minute Linares gathered a Allan Cervantes pass in the 44th minute and easily beat goalkeeper James Molvin.
In the second half, the players from Antigua and Barbuda came out looking tougher, but just couldn’t catch up.
Yenier Marquez got the ball in minute 53 and used his speed to confuse the defense before passing from the left side to Linares, who converted his third goal.
The Cubans wrapped up the match when Joel Colome sent a free kick onto the head of Marquez, who then pushed it across the line for Cuba’s fourth and final goal.
Cuba advances into the third round of the CONCACAF eliminations, and into World Cup Qualifying Group 1 that includes the United States, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala.
CUBA: Danny Quintero, Reysander Fernandez, Yenier Marquez, Yosvani Caballeros, Juan Carlos Clavelo, Joel Colome, Jaime Colome, Alain Cervantes (Lazaro Prat), Kanier Dranguet, Leonel Duarte (Jensis MuNoz) y Roberto Linares (Reinier Alcantara). Coach: Reinhold Fanz
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: James Molvin, Gonsalves Carfield, Joseph Marc, Samuel Brian, Simon Tyio, Cochrane Justine, Julian Lennox (Simon Troy), Williams Teran (Carr Dave), Byem Peter, Skeple Kerry (Troy Mellason) y Gregory Cason. Coach: Willie Donache.