USA men seal first Olympic soccer berth since Beijing 2008
San Pedro Sula (Honduras)/UNI) The United States men's soccer team has qualified for the Olympics for the first time since Beijing Olympics 2008 with a win over Honduras in the semifinals of the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship (CMU20).
The Americans registered a 3-0 victory over Honduras on Friday night here at the Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula.
They scored all three of their goals in the first 45 minutes to not only book their place at Paris 2024, but also advance to the CMU20 final where they will take on the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Dominican Republic also clinched Paris 2024 berth by outlasting Guatemala 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw on Friday in the semifinals.
The USA took a very early start and took a 1-0 lead in the third minute through Paxten Aaronson, who got on the end of a free kick and steered home a right-footed shot from a few meters out.
They doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 22nd minute when a sharp US build-up ended with a Mauricio Cuevas cross into the area that found the outside of the right foot of Alejandro Alvarado Jr., whose shot trickled underneath Honduras GK Juergen Garcia.
Honduras looked to respond and had a good chance at scoring in the 39’ via an Odin Ramos free kick, but the effort sailed just over the crossbar.
The Americans were keen to tack on another before the break and it came in the 43', with a Caden Clark shot from a narrow angle skirting under a Honduras defender and Quinn Sullivan there to make sure it crossed the line for a 3-0 lead.
The best look for the home side came in the 75’ through Jefryn Macias, who eluded two defenders but then barely missed wide from an acute angle.
In the end, the US held firm and saw out the final minutes to secure a ticket to Paris and a spot in Sunday’s final.