The Ticos took charge early in the match and cruised to a victory.
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The setting for the 2011 Gold Cup opener was no worse than any World Cup inauguration at Cowboys Stadium as Costa Rica dominated Cuba.
From the moment the first whistle was blown, it would be Costa Rica which would be in charge of the spectacle, as it routed Cuba 5-0 to obtain the first three points in the competition.
Many wondered if Ricardo La Volpe's men might be stymied offensively due to their star striker Bryan Ruiz being out to injury, but this was certainly not the case. As early as the sixth minute, the Ticos were insistent in front of goal.
About midway through the first half, Marco Ureña took a pass and struck home the first goal of the competition, making it 1-0 for Costa Rica.
Later, Alvaro Saborio and Celso Borges combined for the second goal of the game in the 41st minute. Borges and Saborio essentially took on the whole Cuban defense and came out untouched and creating the second goal for Costa Rica.
More of the same came from Costa Rica in the second half, as Marco Urena scored his second goal of the night just a few minutes after the game was restarted. The psychological hit was too much for Cuba, which immediately allowed another goal, thanks to Heiner Mora's great speed and shooting ability after the Costa Rican defense stole the ball in midfield.
After the game's fourth goal, Cuba buckled down and tried to avoid a complete thrashing. The islanders found balance on defense, in conjunction with a Costa Rican team that was definitely complacent after putting the game away early.
Despite that, the Ticos were able to find a fifth goal from the boots of wunderkind Joel Campbell, who took Heiner Mora's pass and struck it home without letting the ball hit the ground. That was definitely one for the highlight reels.
La Volpe's men batted the ball around after that, easing off the gas pedal for the last twenty minutes of the match as they coasted to their first 2011 Gold Cup victory. It was an excellent start that will likely assure passage to the quarterfinals.