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Los Catrachos Book Their Tokyo Ticket

US U23s fail to reach first Olympics since 2008...

Honduras v USA - 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Semifinals
Luis Palma (left, yellow boots) celebrates with his Honduran team-mates after putting his country 2-0 in front against the USA.
Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Should Canada overcome mighty Mexico in a couple of hours time they will face the same Honduras team they tied with (1-1) in their last Group B game, in the final of the Olympic Qualifying tournament..

Honduras held off a spirited US comeback to book their place in Tokyo.

Palma had given Honduras a 2-0 lead on an absolute gift from Ochoa the US goalkeeper two minutes after the restart. It was a horror moment the youngster won’t want to see back again. He was unconsolable at the finish.

Soon after, Reyes had a wonderful chance to put the game even further beyond the US, but fired wide with the goal frame at his mercy. The spurned opportunity became more significant when Jackson Yeuill, playing a full captain’s role for the US, rifled in what is possibly the goal of the tournament from 25 yards, giving Guity in the Honduran goal no chance.

But despite the US asking plenty of questions over the final 15 minutes, with Herrera their most effective provider on the right side, the Hondurans superbly marshalled by their captain Maldonado, held firm.

Honduras now advances to its fourth consecutive Olympics, a fantastic achievement, while the US is left to rue failure for the third consecutive Games.

Footnote: CF Montreal’s Djordje Mihailovic deployed on the right (does Jason Kreis ever play him in the same role twice?) had an extremely ineffective first-half, which rather passed him, and his team, by. Mihailovic failed to return for the second-half after being replaced by Sebastian Saucedo.

Mexico v USA - 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying
An unhappy ending to the Olympic qualifying tournament for CF Montreal’s Djordje Mihailovic and his US team-mates
Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 21). Recorded Wednesday (24 March), the TBIR team discuss the National Team’s Road to Qatar, the U23s in Mexico, a return for Jason Di Tullio and Florida pre-season plans... Plus all the usual favourite features... including, Eve’s Time Machine... Don’t miss it!

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