US, Honduras qualify for Under-20 WCup
Paul Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Honduras and the United States won their respective playoff games on the final day of the CONCACAF Under-20 Cham-pionship in Montego Bay yesterday. They join already-qualified Mexico and Panama in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand later this year.
Honduras beat Guatemala 2-1, with goals from Michael Chirinos (39th minute) and Alberth Elis (56th), in the first play-off game. Diego Alvarez Escobar (74th) scored the consolation goal for Guatemala.
"Delighted! I am very happy that we succeeded today against Guatemala. It was a very tough game but we played our game and got the win. That is very important for Honduras football," said the Honduran head coach Jorge Jimenez.
In the day's second game, the United States were hardly troubled by El Salvador in their 2-0 win. Ben Spencer (37th) and Paul Arriola (68th) were the scorers for the Americans.
"I am very happy for the boys as, after four games, we needed to eliminate the opponents and it was tough to get going after two early losses in the tournament," said Tab Ramos, the United States head coach.
"Defensively, we were good tonight and goalkeeper Zachary Steffen was good the whole match. I think he is definitely in line to be another outstanding keeper for the country," added Ramos, in his post-game press conference.