Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team took another step closer to their goal of qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup in Friday by beating Guatemala, 1-0. The victory sets up a winner-take-all quarterfinal match-up against Honduras on Sunday, with the winner booking a place in the Under-17 World Cup.
Corey Baird scored the lone goal for the Americans, volleying home a Rubio Rubin cross in the 49th minute to give the U.S. the goal they needed to top the group.
Honduras suffered a 2-0 loss to Mexico late Thursday to set up Sunday’s quarterfinal showdown in Panama City. The match will air live on Fox Soccer Channel at 6pm on Sunday.
The U.S. trotted out a more skilled lineup against Guatemala, with head coach Richie Williams starting midfielders Joel Sonora and Junior Flores. The changes led to some quality soccer, though not the flurry of goals the Americans were probably hoping for. Guatemala made things difficult and even created some chances of their own, only to be denied by U.S. goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, who made his lone save in the 88th minute an impressive one.
Here are the match highlights: