• Sunday Jul 22, 2012

    Nicaragua, Ticos qualify for U-20 finals

    SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras - Nicaragua qualified for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship finals for the first time in its history, beating host Honduras 1-0 on Saturday to join fellow Central American side Costa Rica.

    Eighteen-year-old forward Carlos Chavarria scored in the 24th minute to lead Nicaragua to the win, which secured second place in Central American Group 1 with three points behind Costa Rica.

    The Ticos, who beat Nicaragua 3-2 on Tuesday -- getting a second and winning goal from Jose Sossa in the 92nd minute, drew 0-0 with Honduras on Thursday and finished atop the group with four points.

    Costa Rica will be making its 17th appearance in the CONCACAF finals and fifth straight.

    Despite playing at home, Honduras, a two-time CONCACAF U-20 champion, failed to score a goal in two matches and will miss the confederation finals for the first time since 2007.

    Nicaragua and Costa Rica join automatic North American qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States in the 12-team finals February 18-March 2 in Mexico.

    Two more teams from Central America will qualify when Group 2 - involving Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama - play Wednesday to Sunday in Coatepeque, Guatemala.

    Five teams from the Caribbean will complete the field.

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