U.S. wins CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title

Danny Acosta (#3) converted the last penalty kick in the shootout as the USA prevailed over Honduras in the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship final on March 5, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Straffon Images)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – The United States captured the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship title for the time, outlasting Honduras 5-3 on penalty kicks after their 2017 final ended in a 0-0 draw on Sunday at the Estadio Nacional.

Danny Acosta netted on the final conversion from the spot for the Americans, who were perfect on all five of their attempts as Brooks Lennon, Coy Craft, Emmanuel Sabbi and Luca de la Torre also beat goalkeeper Javier Delgado.

Honduras was successful on its first three efforts through Jorge Alvarez, Douglas Martinez and Foslyn Grant.  On the fourth kick, however, second-half substitute Rembrandt Flores missed.

A match of limited scoring opportunities saw the U.S. generate two of the best in the first half, only to be thwarted on both occasions by Honduras goalkeeper Javier Delgado.

In the ninth minute, Brooks Lennon delivered a corner kick from the right side that Justen Glad headed towards goal  from nine-yards, but Delgado was able to get his hands up to make the save and then kick the loose ball away.

Delgado made an acrobatic stop after it appeared that Lennon’s 27th minute free kick was headed for the upper-right corner.

Apparent leg injuries to midfielder Eryk Williamson in the first half and defender Justen Glad shortly after the break limited the second-half substitution options of U.S. head coach Tab Ramos, but the 50-year-old was able to win his first CONCACAF U-20 crown in three tries.

Under Ramos’ leadership, the U.S. fell 3-1 to Mexico after extra time in the 2013 final.  Two years ago, the Americans got past El Salvador in a playoff, 2-0, to secure a berth in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

In addition to the U.S. and Honduras, CONCACAF will be represented by Costa Rica and Mexico in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup later this year in Korea Republic.