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Honduras, Guatemala seal CONCACAF U-20 berths
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Guatemala defender Allen Yanes (#3) and goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen go to shake hands after defeating Belize in an UNCAF under-20 qualifier on July 29, 2014, at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – With wins at the Central American qualifying tournament on Tuesday, Honduras and Guatemala booked the region’s last two tickets to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Jamaica.  Panama and El Salvador had clinched their places earlier in the competition.

For complete schedule, results, table and scorers, click here.

Honduras topped Nicaragua 3-1 to finish third on goal difference behind El Salvador, while Guatemala edged Costa Rica on the head-to-head tiebreaker to claim the fourth and final spot.

Here’s a recap of the tripleheader action at the Estadio Cuscatlan:

Guatemala 3, Belize 0

Thanks to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica on the first matchday, Guatemala needed only to defeat last-place Belize by a single goal to secure the necessary fourth-place finish regardless of the Ticos’ result against El Salvador later in the evening.

The Guatemalans ended up posting a comfortable 3-0 victory as Mauro Portillo (36’, 63’) struck for a brace in a second straight game, giving him a team-best five goals for the tournament.

Pablo Aguilar (26’) opened the scoring with his second tally in as many games.

Guatemala returns to the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship for the first time since 2011, when it also qualified for the 2011 U-20 World Cup in Colombia.  That year, the Chapines advanced to the Round of the 16 at the FIFA event, before falling 1-0 to Brazil.

Honduras 3, Nicaragua 1

Honduras jumped out to an early two-goal lead and defeated Nicaragua, 3-1, for its third straight win.

After Bryan Rochez (4’) put the Catrachos ahead with his third goal in two games, Junior Lacayo (11’) netted in a third straight outing.

Yaser Ortiz (43’) halved the deficit for Nicaragua with his second goal of the competition, but Deybi Flores (54’) restored Honduras’ two-goal advantage nine minutes into the second half.

El Salvador 1, Costa Rica 2

With Guatemala and Honduras sealing Central America’s last qualifying spots for the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship earlier in the evening, Costa Rica finished on a bright note with a 2-1 victory over El Salvador.

Alberth Villalobos (45’) and Juan Vargas (79’ pen) each scored in a winning effort, while Denis Pineda (57’) netted in a third consecutive to level the score early in the second half.

The Costa Ricans, who secured maximum points from their last three games, will miss the FIFA U-20 World Cup for a second straight time after appearing in the previous three editions.

 

 
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