Early goals point Cuba past the Dominican Republic

Action from the international friendly between Cuba (blue jersey) and the host Dominican Republic on March 25, 2015, in Santiago. (Photo courtesy of the Federación Dominicana de Fútbol)

SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic – Cuba scored three first-half goals to defeat the host Dominican Republic 3-0 in an international friendly Wednesday and capture the Copa Maximo Gomez on Wednesday at the Estadio Cibao FC. 

It was the Cubans’ first match of the year as they prepare for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Yenier Marquez Molina opened the scoring in the ninth minute, heading past goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd.

Yordan Santa Cruz doubled the lead in the 19th minute off an assist from Ariel Marquez, while Maykel Reyes finished an Aricheel Hernandez feed to complete the scoreline eight minutes later. 

"It was a very important game for us," said Cuba head coach Walter Benitez.  "I congratulate the Dominican team that has come a long way, has good players and I know the team will continue to improving.”

Cuba will play another away friendly against Jamaica on March 30 in Montego Bay.