Landon Donovan saved the United States from a shocking result.
Donovan scored the go-ahead goal on a free kick in the 88th minute, and the United States rallied to beat Cuba 4-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup last night in Seattle.
Donovan was tackled just outside the penalty area by Cuba's Silvio Pedro Minoso. He then curled the free kick around the wall and past goalkeeper Odelin Molina.
Two minutes later, DaMarcus Beasley scored, and Donovan netted another goal in injury time on a pass from Beasley that made the score look far more lopsided than the competition.
Donovan scored four goals in the last meeting with Cuba, a 5-0 U.S. win in the Gold Cup quarterfinals in 2003.
The United States improved to 17-0-0 all-time in group play of the Gold Cup, the championship of the North and Central American and Caribbean region that is played every two years.
Lester More scored in the 18th minute for Cuba, the first goal for the Cubans against the United States since Sept. 21, 1949. The teams have played just four times since. The U.S. team, which tied the game just before the half on Clint Dempsey's goal, will play Canada tomorrow. The Canadians lost, 1-0, to Costa Rica.
* COURTS: NBA free agent Eddie Griffin was in jail in Houston for violating his probation, a court official said. Griffin, on probation after pleading guilty in a 2003 assault case, was listed as a witness in a disturbance at a club in Houston on Wednesday.
Griffin chose a 15-day sentence for the violation rather than going to a hearing that could have resulted in a harsher punishment. . . .
Dallas Mavericks free agent Alan Henderson was arrested and charged with carrying a gun in his luggage while trying to board a flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York over the weekend. Henderson was released without bail Sunday, a day after his arrest.
* OLYMPICS: The International Olympic Committee contends too many Olympians are falsely depicting themselves as asthmatic, and outlined screening procedures to prevent them from qualifying for otherwise banned medication.
Arne Ljungqvist, the IOC's medical commission chairman, said tests at the Athens Olympics revealed 45 athletes who described themselves as asthmatic did not in fact have the condition. He said such testing would continue at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
* AUTO RACING: Jamie McMurray will leave Chip Ganassi Racing after his contract expires to drive the No. 6 car for Roush Racing in 2007. Roush did not say who will drive the No. 6 next season while they wait for McMurray. Mark Martin is retiring from Nextel Cup racing, and his seat is one of the most coveted.
* FIGURE SKATING: Angela Nikodinov will sit out next season because of injuries she suffered in a car accident that killed her mother six months ago. Nikodinov is still troubled by a burn to her right hand that was caused by the Jan. 12 crash. She was on her way to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Portland, Ore., with her parents and coach when their taxi hit a car.
-- From News Services