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Since 1st March, 1999
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Kaka leads Brazil into semis
- CONCACAF GOLD CUP l US, Costa Rica post big wins to reach last four

Miami: Brazil captain Kaka led from the front, scoring both goals in his teamís 2-0 victory over Colombia in the quarter finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday.

World champions Brazil, who are without several of their more experienced players at the tournament, could have recorded a more emphatic win as they clinched a semi-final showdown with the holders, the US on Wednesday.

Landon Donovan struck four times as the United States thrashed 10-man Cuba 5-0. A hattrick by Walter Centeno helped Costa Rica earn a 5-2 quarter final victory over El Salvador.

Kakaís first goal came in the 42nd minute when he surprised goalkeeper Farid Mondragon with the speed with which he converted a pass from Robinho.

The Brazil skipper followed up in the 66th minute with a powerful left-foot shot from outside the area that Mondragon could not get near.

Colombia were down to 10 men for the last eight minutes of the game after American referee Ken Stott sent off Julian Vasquez.

Donovan of the US scored twice in each half and Steve Ralston found the net in between to give the Americans an easy win over Cuba, who had Reizander Fernandez sent off just before halftime.

In the 20th minute, Cory Gibbs had a shot cleared off the line by Adriani Faife and two minutes later Ralstonís diving header was well saved by Odelin Molina.

But within a minute the US had opened the scoring as midfielder Eddie Lewis put Brian McBride through on the left side and he slid a perfect pass to the unmarked Donovan who slotted home easily from eight metres.

Donovan doubled the lead on 26 minutes when the San Jose Earthquakes forward volleyed home a Lewis cross from 10 metres.

Three minutes from the break Lewis found Ralston whose header flew past Molina and Cuba were soon down to 10 men as Fernandez was dismissed for a tackle on Pablo Mastroeni.

Ten minutes into the second half Donovan made a driving run into the area and headed another Lewis cross past Molina to finally clinch his hattrick.

Donovanís golden touch in front of goal continued on 76 minutes after a foul on Clint Mathis by Faife gave the US a free kick 23 metres from goal.

Mathisís short kick put Greg Vanney through on the left and his cross was nodded home by Donovan for his 14th international goal in 42 appearances.

Walter Centeno netted a hattrick to book a semis berth for Costa Rica who won 5-2 over El Salvador.

Centeno opened his account in first-half injury time and converted two penalties in the second period to set Costa Rica up for a semi-final clash with Mexico or Jamaica on Thursday.

Erick Scott tapped Costa Rica in front after goalkeeper Juan Gomez failed to hold a shot from Winston Parks in the 11th minute.

El Salvador equalised 23 minutes later, Gilberto Murgas scoring from the penalty spot after Mauricio Wright fouled Victor Velasquez. But Costa Rica hit back when Centeno slammed in a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

El Salvador struck again nine minutes into the second period when Alfredo Pacheco fired a left-footed free-kick into the top corner from 25 metres.

Costa Rica, though, went 3-2 up with a Centeno penalty after Ramon Sanchez brought down Wilmer Lopez in the 68th minute.

Four minutes later, Scott created the fourth goal for substitute Steven Bryce. Centeno then rounded off the scoring with another penalty in injury time after Marvin Gonzalez pulled down Bryce.

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