Toronto – Honduras booked its spot in the men’s soccer competition at the Tokyo Games with a 2-1 semifinal victory over the United States at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Sunday.
‘Los Catrachos,’ who finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics after falling to host Brazil in the semifinals, went 2-0 up through American-born Juan Carlos Obregon and Luis Palma either side of halftime.
The United States pulled one back through Jackson Yueill in the 52nd minute but could not get the equalizer.
Honduras, which has qualified for four consecutive Olympics, opened the scoring in the final seconds of first-half stoppage time when Obregon bundled the ball home after Denil Maldonado headed it across the face of the goal.
Disaster struck for the Americans in the 47th minute when goalkeeper David Ochoa got caught in possession and his pass was blocked by Palma and bounced straight into the net.
The United States, which has not qualified for the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games, got on the board when Yueill rifled in a shot from outside the area.
Honduras, which reached the semifinals of the eight-team tournament as the top team in Group B, will next face Group A winner Mexico in Tuesday’s final.
Mexico defeated Canada 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from winger Uriel Antuna and defender Johan Vasquez.
Mexico and Honduras will represent North and Central America and the Caribbean at the July 23 to Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics.
As both semifinal winners qualify for the Olympics, the final qualification match is essentially an exhibition.
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