US enjoy belated return to Cuba

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The Independent Online

The United States beat Cuba 1-0 in Havana, their first visit to the Caribbean island for 61 years, with a first-half Clint Dempsey goal. The third-round Group A match took place against the backdrop of a 46-year-old US trade embargo against Cuba.

The US players came out on to the pitch after the match at the Pedro Marrero stadium and applauded the Cuban fans in what coach Bob Bradley said was a spontaneous gesture of appreciation. "We've been treated very well here," he said.

The embargo meant there were almost no Americans in the stands, though a few brave souls came with faces obscured by sunglasses and bandannas to prevent retribution from the US government.

"The atmosphere was good. It was kind of like a carnival," said the US goalkeeper Tim Howard. "This is a fantastic place. They've given us nothing but love here."

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