U-17 Honduras in SemiFinals

Honduras became the third team to reach the semifinals of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship despite losing 3-0 to the United States on Saturday, advancing when Cuba beat Canada 2-1.

John McInerny scored for the third straight game and defender Nicholas Palodichuk had a pair of goals for the United States, which won all three of its first round games by a combined 12-2 score and finished atop Group A.

Honduras entered the match having secured its place in the semifinals and third of four berths from CONCACAF in the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in October and November.

The United States will face the second-place team from Group B on Wednesday while Honduras will take on the Group B winner. Mexico, which already has clinched a semifinal berth, leads Group B with six points entering the final first-round matches on Sunday. Costa Rica is second with four points while Guatemala is third with one and Trinidad last after two heavy losses.

Trinidad faces Guatemala, and Costa Rica takes on Mexico on Sunday.

Honduras will enter the semifinals without coach Eugenio Umanzor, who was ejected in the 36th minute after arguing with referee Stanley Lancaster of Guyana. Following the second U.S. goal, Umanzor called his players to the bench for a discussion.

When prompted by Lancaster to restart the match, Umanzor refused and approached the touchline, drawing the referee’s red card.

McInerney’s goal was his fifth of the tournament, giving him the scoring lead and making the USA a candidate to win its third CONCACAF U-17 title.

Palodichuk scored in the 28th minute and added another in the final minute of the first half to pace the United States.

Much of the drama of the match was diffused earlier when Yaudel Lahera scored his second goal of the game in the second minute of second-half injury time, lifting Cuba past Canada 2-1. Canada needed to beat Cuba by a wide margin and have the United States do the same to Honduras to have any chance of advancing on goal difference.

The Canadians took the lead in the 81st minute with Justin Maheu’s first goal of the tournament. But Lahera equalized with a penalty in the 87th and then won it in stoppage time. Cuba finished with nine players and Canada without its coach.

Osdany Soto was ejected in the 51st minute with his second yellow card in 31 minutes and Cuban teammate Yordan Exposito followed with his second caution in four minutes in the 82nd. Canada coach Sean Fleming joined the two shortly after Exposito’s expulsion.

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