Guadalajara (Mexico) (AFP) – Honduras reached the Tokyo Olympics football tournament on Sunday, denying the United States a place with a 2-1 semi-final victory in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
Mexico joined Honduras at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games after beating Canada 2-0 in the second semi-final to secure the second berth available from the North and Central America and Caribbean region.
Honduras and Mexico will contest the tournament final on Tuesday, but the real business was concluded when each advanced to the Olympics, due to begin in July after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, via semi-final victories.
Honduras’s Juan Carlos Obregon scored in first-half injury time and a second came in the 47th minute when US goalkeeper David Ochoa’s attempt to clear the ball rebounded off Luis Palma and into the goal.
Jackson Yueill pulled one back for the United States in the 52nd minute with a blast from outside the box.
But Honduras held on to qualify for their fifth Olympics and fourth in a row.
“We’re devastated,” US coach Jason Kreis said after a defeat that will see them miss their third straight Games since qualifying for Beijing in 2008.
It was the second consecutive time the United States had been denied by Honduras, who also derailed their bid for a 2016 Rio de Janeiro berth.
The US men’s team’s last major international tournament appearance was at the 2014 World Cup.
“I think it just comes down to general sharpness of players,” said Kreis, whose players didn’t have a shot on goal until Yueill’s goal.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a game where we had players mis-control the ball so much — balls rolling under people’s feet, passing out of bounds. These are things you kind of scratch your head.
“At the end of the day it just wasn’t quite there from a confidence point of view.”
Mexico, the 2012 gold medallists, booked their 12th trip to the Olympic Games with two second-half goals against Canada.
Mexico dominated possession in the first half but were frustrated by Canada’s determined defense.
Uriel Antuna broke the deadlock in the 58th minute and Johan Vasquez added a second goal in the 66th to seal the victory that denied Canada a third Olympic appearance.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Real Madrid motivated ahead of Frankfurt Super Cup clash
- Raza at the controls of high-flying Zimbabwe
- Southampton has early red flags in this Premier League campaign
- Sarr both Watford’s hero and villain in West Brom draw
- Everton sign England’s Coady on season-long loan from Wolves
- Dortmund complete Modeste signing from Cologne
- Darkhorse Denmark brings recent triumphs to World Cup 2022
- Former Man Utd star Giggs accused of ‘litany of abuse’ at assault trial
- Holders Wydad Casablanca among 58 CAF Champions League hopefuls
- 2022/23 LaLiga prediction: What will the final table look like?