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The United States qualifies for U-17 Men's World Cup with win over Guatemala

The United States have earned a spot at this year's U-17 Men’s World Cup with a hard-fought 5-3 win against Guatemala in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. It took four goals to defeat the tournament’s hosts in an extremely hostile home atmosphere. 

Through the lasers and sneers of the massive Guatemalan crowd, the young Americans managed to get the job done, but only just. Despite the two-goal win, it was seldom comfortable for the United States. The hosts brought the deficit to within one goal on three occasions and kept Gonzalo Segares’ side honest for the entirety of the match, but ultimately came up short at the final hurdle. 

Four different players found the back of the net for the United States, but it was Liverpool FC forward Keyrol Figueroa’s brace that proved to be the difference between the two sides. A late fifth from Columbus Crew’s Taha Habroune put the win beyond doubt and sent the Americans into the semifinals. 

The win also booked the United States’ ticket to the U-17 World Cup that will take place in November of this year. They have now qualified for the tournament on a record 18 occasions. Most if not all of the current roster will be eligible for the tournament, so no doubt the focus will soon shift. But for the time being, the United States awaits the results of tomorrow's quarterfinals to find out who their opponent will be on Friday.

The Americans join Mexico who qualified earlier in the day with a comfortable 3-0 win over El Salvador. 

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