Uriel Antuna scored after an unfortunate pass from Sebastian Soto in the 45th minute. In the 22nd minute, he scored the winning goal in Mexico’s 1-0 victory over the United States in a men’s Olympic qualifier in Guadalajara on Wednesday night.
Both teams have already secured their places in Group A for Sunday’s semifinals. The United States finished second in Group B and will play Honduras if Canada does not beat the Catrachos in the Group B final on Thursday.
Mexico, the 2012 Olympic champions, won their 14th consecutive match. 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament and finished first in Group A.
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The semi-finalists from North and Central America and the Caribbean will earn two spots in the 16-nation field of competitors for the Olympic Games, which will be held from October 21-25. July to 7. August in Tokyo, Kashima, Miyagi, Saitama, Sapporo and Yokohama.
Chivas winger Antuna, on loan from Manchester City to the LA Galaxy in 2019, received the ball 35 yards from goal, which was tapped in by Soto with a mistimed chop after a ball from Henry Kessler. Antuna beat Kessler and Mauricio Pineda before cutting inside and firing a right-footed shot past goalkeeper David Ochoa for his second goal of the tournament.
Uriel Antuna picked up the win in Mexico’s victory over the United States on Wednesday night in Guadalajara. ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. men failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. This trend was followed by the failure of the senior national team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Due to a delay caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, FIFA continued to allow players who had played on or after January 1, 2007 to be eligible. Each Olympic team is entitled to three players with a wildcard over the age limit.
American coach Jason Kreis made six changes to his starting line-up for the second game in a row. Kessler and Soto made their first appearances, while Ochoa, Aaron Herrera and midfielders Hassani Dotson and Djordje Mihajlovic, who played in the opening match of the 1-0 win against Costa Rica, all returned.
Julian Araujo, Pineda in central defense and midfielders Andres Perea, Johnny Cardoso and Sebastian Saucedo also started in the 4-0 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Kreis took the 61st. He brought in a triple change in the 57th minute, with Jackson Youey, Jonathan Lewis and Jesus Ferreira, who had a yellow card from the first game and would have been suspended. Tanner Tessman came on in the 76th for Hassani Dotson, who appeared to have sprained his left ankle. Dotson scored twice against Dominican.
Sebastian Jurado replaced Mexican goalkeeper Luis Malagon in the 39th minute. He had apparently injured his wrist in a collision.
Clubs are not required to release players for Olympic qualification or the Olympics, so most of the best-known players are not part of the tournament teams.
In the first game of the double-header, Costa Rica defeated the Dominican Republic 5-0 in the elimination game. Randall Leal of Major League FC Nashville scored twice, while Manfred Ugalde, Bernald Alfaro and Aaron Salazar each scored once.
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