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Canada to meet USMNT in Gold Cup quarters after big win over Cuba

Omar Vega / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Canada and the United States are set to lock horns at the Gold Cup.

Facing a must-win scenario in their final group outing, the Canadians took care of business against an overmatched Cuba side on Tuesday, recording a 4-2 victory to secure second place in Group D and a berth in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Goals from Junior Hoilett, Jonathan Osorio, Jayden Nelson, and Liam Millar powered Canada to the win.

Cuba, already eliminated going into the contest, scored on a pair of penalties.

John Herdman's men will now meet the defending champion Americans on Sunday in Cincinnati with a place in the semifinals on the line. The clash comes less than a month after the sides faced off in the CONCACAF Nations League final, a match won 2-0 by the United States. This tussle, however, will see both teams call upon significantly different lineups as they each went into the Gold Cup missing several marquee players.

The U.S., led by interim coach B.J. Callaghan until Gregg Berhalter returns after the Gold Cup, goes into Saturday's tilt on the back of consecutive 6-0 group-stage wins over Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts and Nevis.

The match at TQL Stadium will signal a significant step up in competition level for both Canada and the U.S. after their most recent games.

"It's been a learning experience these last three games ... but we got what we wanted: (the) U.S. in Cincinnati," Herdman said of the impending matchup. "So hopefully the Canadian fans get over the border and start filling that stadium up for us."

Though Canada produced some exquisite passages of play against Cuba - particularly in the buildup to Osorio's tally - and came away with a glut of goals, the sloppiness that plagued Herdman's team in the disappointing draws against Guadeloupe and Guatemala were evident once more. Those issues, and those dropped points, ultimately forced Canada to settle for second place in its quartet.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Guatemala nabbed top spot in Group D with a thrilling 3-2 win over Guadeloupe, resulting in a date with Jamaica in the next round.

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