PORTLAND, Oregon, CMC- Debutants Belize were hammered six goals to one by the United States in their Group C opener of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at JELD-WEN Field Tuesday night.
A first half hat-trick by Chris Wondolowski helped shatter Belize’s enthusiasm as the United States took the group lead over Costa Rica, 3-0 winners over Cuba, via goal differential.
Wondolowski struck first in the 12th minute with a point blank goal, added his second goal in the 37th minute by firing home a diving header at the edge of the six-yard box from a Kyle Beckerman cross, and completed his hat-trick by heading in Michael Parkhurst’s cross in the 41st minute.
A minute earlier Belize pulled a goal back when an unmarked Ian Gaynair headed in Elroy Smith’s free kick from 10 metres.
Pressure in the Belizean defensive third resulted in a fourth goal in the 58th minute when second-half substitute Stuart Holden knocked in Landon Donovan’s laid-off header.
Donovan set up the fifth U.S. goal as well, playing a set piece across the net where Michael Orozco headed in his second career goal in the 72nd minute.
Donovan clinically finished from the penalty spot four minutes later after Honduran referee Hector Rodriguez called a handball against Belize.
The United States will take on Cuba in the second game of the group stage at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
Belize will face Costa Rica in the other match in Sandy, Utah.