The thawing of diplomatic relations between historical enemies the US and Cuba has continued with their first soccer friendly since 1947
Photo Source: AP
The United States has beaten Cuba 2-0 in the first friendly between the two countries for 69 years.
The US triumphed in Havana thanks to second-half goals by veteran Chris Wondolowski and Bayern Munich youngster Julian Green.
Nevertheless, it was an encouraging display by Cuba, who belied their lowly FIFA world ranking of 139 with an encouraging display in which they twice hit the post in the second half.
The match was played amid a backdrop of thawing political relations between the two countries as they work towards normalising relations.
But some on-field diplomacy was required after the game, with some Americans complaining about the state of the pitch.
"I'd rather have the game on (artificial) turf and I hate turf," ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman said.
The pitch more resembled a farmer's ploughed field than an international soccer playing surface, with a shaggy covering of grass that was pock-marked with deep divots.
The unpredictable bounce made ball-control difficult, contributing to a forgettable first half, but the match came to life after the break.
Cuba striker Maykel Reyes hit the post in the 58th minute, before the US took the lead four minutes later when keeper Sandy Sanchez parried a shot into the path of Wondolowski, who lashed home from close range for his 11th international goal.
Cuba almost drew level when midfielder Roberney Caballero hit the post with a header in the 65th, before Wondolowski set up the second US goal six minutes later for Green to tap home from close range.