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Corona, 6-pack of goals leads U.S. past Cuba in Olympic qualifier

Joe Corona, of the United States, moves the

Joe Corona, of the United States, moves the ball against Cuba in the second half of a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying soccer match. (March 22, 2012) Credit: AP

The United States U-23 Olympic qualifying team began its quest to securing a ticket to London this summer with a convincing, 6-0, victory over Cuba Thursday night at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

Joe Corona paced the attack with a hat trick, while Juan Agudelo and Freddy Adu tallied goals on either side of halftime. An own goal by Cuba accounted for the other U.S. goal.

Midfielder Mix Diskerud organized the Americans' offense masterfully and set up two of Corona's goals. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid earned the shutout. The win was the United States' largest margin of victory since a 7-1 win over Panama in 1991.

The result was drastically different than four years ago, when the two teams met in an Olympic qualifer in Tampa, Fla., and tied, 1-1. This time around, head coach Caleb Porter sent out a talented and experienced squad with five starters having already gained at least one cap on the senior team. His 4-3-3 lineup was led by Brek Shea, Agudelo and Adu up front.

Check out the highlights below:


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