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Olympic men's qualifying

Honduras overtakes U.S. 2-1 in meaningless final.

HERSHEY, Pa. (Sunday, April 30, 2000) -- Striker Oscar David Suazo found net twice for Honduras, which erased an early deficit and defeated the United States under-23 men 2-1 for the virtually meaningless CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament title before 12, 126 at Hersheypark Stadium this afternoon.

Both the United States and Honduras secured berths in the Summer Olympics with their semifinal victories Friday. It was the sixth straight time the U.S. had qualified for the Summer Games, though it did not go to the boycotted 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

"All in all, I thought we had a very good tournament," said U.S. coach Clive Charles, who has led the U.S U-23s to a 6-4-1 record in 2000. "We achieved what we came here to do. A lot of emotion and energy went into (Friday's) game, and the job was done at that point. We came here today to win, but we simply came up a little short."

In the opener, Mexico took out its frustration of not making the Olympics by drubbing Guatemala 5-0 for third place. Juan Pablo Rodriguez had a goal and two assists.

The U.S. opened a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute on a ping-pong play involving three consecutive headers. A free kick was served to the far post to John O'Brien who headed it back towards the middle of the box to American defender Dan Califf. Califf rose up to head the ball across the box to Josh Wolff, who once again knocked it back the other way with this one finding its way past Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

After holding the previous three teams scoreless, the U.S. yielded its first goal of the tournament when Honduras turned the tables and equalized in the 29th minute. Honduras worked a perfect give-and-go, with captain Maynor Suazo eventually feeding a ball to the speedy Oscar David Suazo. Suazo stepped inside of Califf, ran on to the ball in stride and framed a blistering shot in the upper left corner of the goal past sprawling U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Honduras tacked the winning goal in the 56th minute when midfielder Julio Cesar Suazo chased down a ball that looked like it was headed over the end line and sent a ball back into the middle of the box. In an attempt to clear it out, Califf attempted a diving header back away from goal but missed.

Howard initially stepped out to make a play on the ball, but quickly backpedaled in attempt to cover his line. The cross fell to Oscar David Suazo, who scissored it home past Howard, who was heading in the other direction.

The U.S. made a strong push for the equalizer over the final 10 minutes of regulation and into injury time to no avail.

Honduras 2, United States 1

Lineups: United States - Tim Howard; Ramiro Corrales (Eric Denton 46), Danny Califf, Chad McCarty (captain), Steve Cherundolo; DaMarcus Beasley, John O'Brien, Peter Vagenas, John Thorrington (Ben Olsen 46), Landon Donovan (Chris Albright 72), Josh Wolff. Honduras - Noel Valladares; Hector Gutierrez, Junior Izaguirre, Elmer Montoya, Walter Lopez, Maynor Suazo (captain), Jamie Rosales, Oscar David Suazo, Luis Ramirez, Julio Cesar Suazo, Francisco Pavon (Elvis Danilo Turcios 89).

Scoring:
United States - Wolff (Califf) 12.
Honduras - O.D. Suazo (M. Suazo) 29.
Honduras - O. D. (J.C. Suazo) 56.

Shots: United States 11, Honduras 10. Saves: United States 4, Honduras 4. Corner kicks: United States 6, Honduras 1. Fouls: United Sates 16, Honduras 23. Offside: United States 1, Honduras 3. Yellow card cautions: United States - Cherundolo 71, O’Brien 86; Honduras - Montoya 86, O.D. Suazo 86.

Referee: Peter Prendergast. Referee assistants: Vladimir Fernandez, Virgilio Ruiz. Attendance: 12,126 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa. Weather: 75 degrees, gusty, sunny.

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