By FRANCO PANIZO
What started out as a strong showing for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is now in jeopardy of becoming a disaster.
The U.S. missed a chance to qualify directly for this year’s Under-17 World Cup on Wednesday, falling, 1-0, to Jamaica in their CONCACAF Championship Group A finale to slip to third place. The defeat was the first for the Americans in the qualifying tournament, and it now forces them to have to win a playoff match this weekend in order to punch their tickets to Chile.
Richie Williams’ side, now 3-1-1 in the competition, was undone by a penalty kick in the 57th minute. Nicholas Nelson converted from the spot, giving Jamaica a win that moved it to 3-1-1 and into second place ahead of the U.S. due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. The team that took Group A and qualified directly for this fall’s World Cup was tournament hosts Honduras, who finished with 11 points via a 3-2-0 record.
The U.S. loss paved the way for Honduras to secure a place in the Under-17 World Cup after the Catrachos posted a victory on Wednesday night.
The Americans now have to wait to see how Group B finishes out on Thursday before knowing who their opponent will be in the playoff match, which will take place on Sunday.
What do you think of the U.S. U-17s losing to Jamaica? Still confident that the Americans will qualify for the World Cup? Who are you hoping the playoff match is against?
Share your thoughts below.