The U.S. Under-17 men’s national team overcame a few scares in its quarterfinal showdown with Guatemala before eventually hanging on to clinch its fourth-consecutive FIFA U-17 World Cup berth in style.
Keyrol Figueroa continued his impressive tournament with two goals while Taha Habroune delivered the final blow in a 5-3 victory over hosts Guatemala on Tuesday night. Brian Romero and Aiden Harangi also delivered goals of their own as Gonzalo Segares’ squad remained perfect at the Concacaf U-17 Championship.
The USMNT U-17’s struck first as Charlotte FC’s Romero needed only seven minutes to break the deadlock. David Vazquez’s pressure on the Guatemala backline led to an error at the back before Vazquez’s cross to a wide open Romero was tapped home.
The USMNT U-17’s kept their feet on the gas in the second half with Harangi scoring his first goal of the tournament in the 50th minute. Harangi’s long-range strike into the bottom-left corner extended the Americans lead to 3-1.
Guatemala continued to fight to keep its World Cup hopes alive, cutting the deficit to 4-3 following Carlos Aguilar’s headed finish in the 74th minute. However, Taha Habroune came off the bench to deliver the eighth and final goal of the match after a great set up from Paulo Rudisill.
Duran Ferree finished the match with two saves in goal as the USMNT U-17’s would hang on to set up a semifinal showdown with either Canada or Puerto Rico on Friday.