World Athletics has named Cuba’s Ana Quirot winning gold medals at the 1995 and 1997 World Championships, among 10 of the greatest athletics moments of triumph over adversity.

The official draw for the qualifying matches of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is in the books and Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Cuba, despite already being placed in round two, are not set to have an easy of it.

As announced in March of 2018, the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League kicked off the road to 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. After group stage play, the top two finishers in each of the League A groups and the top finisher in each of the League B groups secured their participation in the 16th edition of the Confederation’s premier tournament for men’s national teams.

 

The road to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will continue next year with a two-round qualifier, to be played in a direct elimination format. Beginning in March of 2020, the second-place finishers of League B will face the first-place finishers of League C. The four matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 1: Guadeloupe vs Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Matchup 2: Barbados vs Guyana

Matchup 3: Bahamas vs French Guiana

Matchup 4: Guatemala vs Monserrat

 

After home-and-away play, the four round one matchup winners will advance to the second round, where they will face the third-place finishers of League A. The second round will take place during the FIFA window of June 2020. The four round-two matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 5: Winner Matchup 1 vs Haiti

Matchup 6: Winner Matchup 2 vs Trinidad & Tobago

Matchup 7: Winner Matchup 3 vs Bermuda

Matchup 8: Winner Matchup 4 vs Cuba

 

This mean Haiti will play against either Guadeloupe or St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Trinidad & Tobago has the task of trying to turn back either Barbados or Guyana. Bermuda, who have done well to date, have either the Bahamas or the dangerous French Guiana, while Cuba must contend with either Guatemala or Montserrat.

After home-and-away play, the four matchup winners will qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, joining (in alphabetical order); Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname and the United States.

The gala event in Miami, FL was attended by Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio and the presidents of all 41 Concacaf Member Associations.

The draw was conducted by Concacaf Development Director Jason Roberts and Concacaf Director of Competitions Carlos Fernandez.

The complete schedule, including dates, kickoff times and host venues for the qualifying matches will be announced at a later date.

 

The United States confirmed its place in the summer 2020 Concacaf Nations League Final Four with a 4-0 victory over Cuba at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands putting the U.S. atop Group A of League A.

The United States moved into the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals after a 4-0 win over Cuba on Tuesday.

USA were ahead inside a minute in the Cayman Islands through Josh Sargent and never looked back, Jordan Morris adding a first-half brace.

Morris continued his fine run of form for USA before Sargent sealed his side's victory during a quieter second half.

The win ensured Gregg Berhalter's side of top spot in Group A of League A and a spot in the semi-finals on goal difference.

USA opened the scoring inside 40 seconds through Sargent.

Paul Arriola did the hard work down the right before crossing for Sargent, who scored from close range as he put Cuba goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez under pressure.

USA dominated the first half and Weston McKennie had a goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Erick Rizo in the eighth minute.

However, the visitors doubled their lead through Morris, who made no mistake in a one-on-one with Sanchez after a great flick-on header by McKennie.

Morris struck again six minutes before half-time, although the forward seemed apologetic to Aaron Long.

Long's ball from the left side of the area went over Sanchez and Morris tapped in on the goal-line to make it 3-0.

After a quieter start to the second half, USA added to their lead through Sargent's second.

Tyler Boyd flicked Reggie Cannon's back-post cross into the path of Sargent, who converted from inside the area in the 66th minute.

USA cruised late on, easing to an important victory and seeing Cuba finish without a point in the group.

 

What does it mean? USA put Canada hiccup aside

A 2-0 loss to Canada in Toronto in October had Berhalter under enormous pressure at the helm, but USA have responded. Wins over Canada (4-1) and Cuba this international break – and a spot in the semi-finals – have surely been enough to ease the pressure on Berhalter.

USA developing fast-start habit

For the second game in a row, USA scored inside two minutes. They also netted three times in the opening nine minutes against Cuba in October and Berhalter will be hoping they can continue their fast starts going forward.

Morris caps off stellar 2019

Morris' brace meant he has scored in four of his past five appearances for USA. The Seattle Sounders forward has netted five of his 10 international goals since September in a fine run of form.

What's next?

Both countries have played their final games of the year, but USA can look forward to the Nations League semi-finals in June 2020.

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