Cuba Pulls Off Surprise Tie with Canada in Olympic Soccer Qualifier

HAVANA TIMES, March 26 — Already eliminated from qualifying for the London Olympics, the Cuban soccer squad pulled off a major surprise on Monday, managing to tie Canada 1-1 with a goal at minute 91 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Maykel Reyes scored the only goal by the Cubans in the tournament, having lost their two previous matches 6-0 to the United States and 4-0 to El Salvador.

The Cubans had several mishaps on Monday, with midfielder Yosmel de Armas reported having deserted the team, and players Dairo Macias and Carlos Domingo being out due to red cards, noted AP.  Another player, Maikel Chang injured his left ankle in the second period.

The lone Canadian goal came at minute 25 by Evan James.  Cuba’s goalie Odisnel Cooper was credited with making two nice saves, added AP.

Canada finished its group play with 5 points and Cuba with 1 point.  The US (3 points) and El Salvador (4 points) are about to begin play on Monday evening.

The top two teams from the group will move on to the semifinals against Mexico (6 points) and either Honduras (3 points) Panama (1 point) or Trinidad (1 point), who play their last qualifying round match tomorrow with Mexico facing Panama and Honduras vs. Trinidad.