The CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament was specifically designed so that the United States and Mexico would win their respective groups, meet in the final, and qualify for London 2012 as the two finalists.
Well, that's out.
Although the United States defeated Cuba 6-0 in their opening match, Juan Agudelo was lost for the remainder of the tournment with a torn meniscus. Then, on Saturday, the USA's chances to qualify for London 2012 took a serious hit as Canada defeated the United States 2-0. Now, with a win tonight over El Salvador in Nashville, the United States will come in second in the group (assuming Canada beats Cuba, a 4-0 loser to El Salvador on Saturday). That means the USA plays against group winners Mexico in the semifinals, with the two finalists qualifying for London.
The United States were led against Cuba by Joe Corona, who scored three goals against the Cubans, but Canada's Samuel Piette marked him very tightly. Canadian goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz saved shots from Freddy Adu and Joe Corona, keeping the game scoreless at halftime. At halftime, coach Caleb Porter brought Joe Gyau on for Joe Corona, but it would not lead to any goals. In the second half, Canada center back Doniel Henry got away from US defender Ike Opara on a corner kick and headed the ball past an out-of-position Bill Hamid. 1-0 Canada in the 58th minute. Then, Michal Misiewicz saved a shot on goal from Freddy Adu in the 65th minute, and soon afterwards Ike Opara failed to put his wide open header on target from a corner kick in the next minute. Later, Canadian midfielder Philip Davies eluded Mix Diskerud and got the ball from Russel Teibert. Davies then sent a cross to Lucas Cavallini, who appeared to push off Ike Opara (no call) and headed the cross in the net in the 83rd minute. 2-0 Canada wins. Brek Shea very nearly got one back at the end for the US, but Michal Misiewicz saved Brek's powerful header on goal in the 85th minute.
With a win over El Salvador tonight and a Canada win over Cuba, the US will finish second in the group and face Mexico in the winner-qualifies-for-the-Olymics-and-the-loser-stays-home semifinal from Livestrong Park in Kansas City. Canada will most likely face Honduras, assuming the Catrachos beat Trinidad and Tobago tonight at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
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