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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
US, Costa Rica ease to opening wins

Chris Wondolowski's first half hat-trick steered the United States to a comfortable 6-1 win over Belize in their opening match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Wondolowski opened the scoring for the US in the 12th minute when he latched onto a rebound off Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio.

The San Jose Earthquakes striker doubled his tally in the 37th minute before Belize pulled one back when Ian Gaynair was left open to head home a free kick.

The Jaguars' brief reprieve could not be sustained, however, as Wondolowski grabbed his third goal just a minute later, nodding on Michael Parkhurst's perfectly placed cross.

With a comfortable lead at the break, the second half was a mere formality for the US.

Stuart Holden made an immediate impact after being introduced into the match after the break, turning home from a Landon Donovan knockdown.

Michael Orozco-Fiscal then padded the US lead within a minute when he headed home Donovan's free kick.

Donovan then completed the scoring in the 75th minute when he converted a penalty after Ashley Torres' handball.

In the group's other match, Costa Rica began its Gold Cup campaign with a second-half blitz helping the Central Americans to a 3-0 drubbing of Cuba.

Costa Rica were kept to a goal-less first 45 minutes by their Caribbean neighbours before three goals in 19 minutes put an end to the island nation's stubborn resistance.

Michael Barrantes was the hero for Costa Rica, scoring either side of Jairo Arrieta's 71st minute goal.

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