Skip to content

Gold Cup: Wondolowski hat trick leads U.S. in 6-1 rout of Belize

Jul 10, 2013, 12:57 AM EDT

Wondolowski and Corona of the U.S. react to a goal against Belize during their CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Portland, Oregon Reuters

PORTLAND, Ore. – The name on his back may have undermined his renown, “Wondowlowski” erroneously ironed onto his jersey, but after 42 minutes on Tuesday at JELD-WEN Field, nobody was talking about the typo scrawled across his shoulders. Instead, the buzz around Chris Wondolowski centered on his second, third and fourth international goals, all scored before halftime, with the reigning Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player lifting the U.S. to a 6-1 win over Belize in their opening match of the 2013 Gold Cup.

Belize’s only goal came the 39th minute, with defender Ian Gaynair heading home a restart to briefly pull the underdogs within one. But building on Wondolowski’s third just before intermission, second half tallies from Stuart Holden, Michael Orozco, and Landon Donovan helped push the U.S. to the top of Group C, their goal difference giving them a tiebreaker advantage over Costa Rica.

The Ticos also sit on three points after winning the night’s opening match, getting two goals from midfielder Michael Barrantes en route to a 3-0 win over Cuba.

(MORE: U.S. player ratings from Tuesday’s win)

Belize, playing in their first major international competition, were expected to offer little resistance to one of the tournament favorites, so it was no surprise when the U.S. dominated play from the opening kick off. Forcing two corner kicks in the first 90 seconds and maintaining over 80 percent of the match’s possession over the first 10 minutes, the Americans quickly pushed their opponents deep into their own end. With the ball rarely in the U.S.’s half,  the Americans appeared destined for a quick break through.

That break through came in 12th minute when left midfielder Jose Torres beat Belize right back Evan Mariano to get a far post cross in from the byline. There, Joe Corona out-jumped his man to head the cross down into the six, where the ball was left for Chris Wondolowski to open the scoring from close range.

(MORE: A few takeaways from the United States’ win)

After another spell of U.S. control, Belize nearly equalized, a freak deflection of a Deon McCauley 24rd minute shot sending the ball looping toward Nick Rimando’s left post. The Real Salt Lake keeper leapt and got a hand to a ball that appeared destined to nail his post.

The U.S. had a number of chances to double their lead near the half hour mark, with Corona firing a ball into Woodrow West’s feet in the 32nd minute before Torres’s 36th minute half volley  went over the bar from six yards out. One minute later, however, a cross from the right from Kyle Beckerman found Wondolowski in middle of the Belize area, his header powered past West to make it 2-0.

Four minutes later, the U.S. gave the goal back. A foul along Belize’s right flank by Landon Donovan gave up a set piece, one converted by a Ian Gaynair header after Elroy Smith found him unmarked just outside Nick Rimando’s six-yard box.

But it was only two minutes until the U.S. restored their lead, with Wondolowski completing his hat trick after diving onto a cross from Corona. Raising this international total to four goals in 13 caps, Wondolowski returned the U.S. to the two-goal lead they’d enjoyed for much of the half, sending his team into intermission up 3-1.

In the 58th minute, the U.S. padded their goal difference when Stu Holden, who had come on for Beckerman at halftime, finished from six yards out, recording his first international goal in four years. Off a far post cross from Corona, Donovan headed down for the still returning midfielder, whose third international goal marked the latest step in his comeback from repeated knee injuries.

For Donovan, it was his 50th international assist, reaching a plateau he passed in goals on Friday with his double against Guatemala. It wasn’t long, through, before the country’s all-time leading scorer added his second assist of the night, his restart from deep on the U.S.’s left flank swinging onto Orozco in the six-yard box, the defender heading home to put the U.S. up four.

In the 77th minute, Donovan added to his scoring record, scoring from the penalty spot after a Belize hand ball, registering his 52nd career goal.

The win leaves the U.S. even on points with Costa Rica at the top of Group C ahead of Sunday’s match with Cuba, but with goal difference being the tournament’s first group stage tiebreaker, the team’s +5 difference leaves the one spot above the Ticos, who beat Cuba by three in the night’s opener.

Latest Posts
  1. As Pardew gets lifeline, Carragher blasts the “disgrace” at Newcastle

    Sep 15, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT

    Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    Newcastle United players and their manager have come under fire from ex-Liverpool back Jamie Carragher, who blasted the club on “Monday Night Football”

  2. Le Toux can snare second Open Cup title by beating his old club

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Sebastien Le Toux, Tony Beltran AP

    The Sounders have three titles and won their first win Le Toux. Soccerly hosts an essay on his quest to deny them a fourth.

  3. Anelka joins Indian Super League; Uncertainty hangs over suspension

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Mumbai_City_FC

    The English FA asked FIFA to extend Anelka’s quenelle suspension beyond Britain’s borders.

  4. 1860 Munich’s lederhosen kits are absolutely bonkers

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    1860-lederhosen2

    Oktoberfest begins Sept. 20, and 1860 Munich is going all-in when it comes to their away attire.

  5. Hull City 2-2 West Ham United: Debut goals a-plenty in fun draw

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Abel Hernandez, Enner Valencia, Mohamed Diame and Diafra Sakho all made their presences felt on NBCSN at the KC Stadium on Monday.

  6. VIDEO: Enner Valencia blazes a shot past McGregor at the KC Stadium

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Certainly one of the goals of the early season, as West Ham continues to tempt the highlight reels despite a tough start to the season.

  7. Americans Abroad wrap: Brek Shea assists in Birmingham debut (video)

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    Birmingham City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Getty Images

    Brek Shea had a loan debut to remember, while Julian Green had one to forget and both Tim Howard and Brad Guzan kept clean sheets.

  8. At the half: Record-signing Hernandez shining as Hull leads West Ham

    Sep 15, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT

    abel-hernandez_3006938

    Abel Hernandez has a goal and had another creation ruled offsides as the hosts rose to steal the first half with late heroics.

  9. Champions League preview: How will the four Premier League teams get on?

    Sep 15, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Champions League AP

    Schedules, chances of making the last 16, predictions. Your one-stop shop for all the info as the UCL group stages begins for four PL teams.

  10. Watch live: Hull City vs. West Ham United (Lineups)

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Record-signing Abel Hernandez (Palermo) makes his Hull City debut as the Tigers look to pick up their second win of the season.

  11. Rio Ferdinand slams ex-Manchester United manager David Moyes

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

    FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-BAYER LEVERKUSEN Getty Images

    Ferdinand: “It killed me. Inside I wanted to scream and grab him.”

  12. Stats don’t lie: Spanish clubs almost certain of Champions League success

    Sep 15, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT

    Portugal Soccer Champions League Final AP

    All four Spanish teams are looking odds on to make it out of the group stage. What about the big clubs from England and Germany?

  13. Premier League Preview: Hull City vs. West Ham United

    Sep 15, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    FBL-ENG-LCUP-TOTTENHAM-HULL Getty Images

    All the news and quotes ahead of the Monday afternoon matchup.

  14. Premier League Playback: Manchester United shine bright like a diamond

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League Getty Images

    PST’s lead writer and editor takes an alternative look at all the action from Week 4.

  15. “Cristiano Ronaldo fed up at Real Madrid” says former club president

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

    cristiano_ronaldo AP

    Calderon claims that Ronaldo is frustrated with life at Real after several high-profile exits.

  16. David Beckham issues plea to Scotland as citizens vote on independence

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

    Britain Prince William Beckham AP

    Beckham: “What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let’s stay together.”

  17. Stoke City launch initiative to set up academies across North America

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Harry Kane, Geoff Cameron AP

    Potters to link up with youth teams across USA and Canada, grow brand overseas.

  18. Report: Manchester United back in for Mats Hummels

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Manchester City's Balotelli tackles Borussia Dortmund's Hummels during their Champions League soccer match in Dortmund Reuters

    Will Hummels arrive a balance out a top-heavy United squad?

  19. Mexican politician hurls alleged racist abuse at Ronaldinho after Queretaro move

    Sep 15, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Ronaldinho AP

    After Ronaldinho’s Liga MX debut, huge traffic jams in Queretaro reportedly cause politician to racially abuse the Brazilian.

Featured video

Week 4: Saturday recap