Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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Déjà vu as Honduras and Mexico lock in Tokyo spots

Men’s Olympic Football Tournament


Players of Mexico celebrate after winning the 2020 Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament


© Getty Images

  • Mexico win Concacaf Olympic qualifying competition for third consecutive time
  • El Tri will look to replicate London 2012 triumph in Tokyo
  • Men’s Olympic Football Tournament to take place from 22 July to 7 August

For the third consecutive time Honduras and Mexico will represent the North, Central America and Caribbean region at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. And just like London 2012 and Rio 2016 Mexico will be competing on the global stage as the kings of Concacaf.

Mexico will be looking to repeat their 2012 triumph when the likes of Oribe Peralta, Marco Fabian, Raul Jimenez, Hector Herrera and Javier Aquino led El Tri to the gold medal at Wembley, the region’s first top-of-the-podium finish.

Honduras qualified by defeating the USA 2-1 in the qualifying competition’s semi-finals, and while the Stars & Stripes rue a third consecutive failure to make the Olympics, Los Catrachos cement their status as perennial competitors at this level. Mexico beat Canada 2-0 in the other semi-final.

Final

Mexico 1-1 (5-4 pens) Honduras

How they punched their tickets

Mexico in cruise control

El Tri set the tone early in the competition. Sebastian Cordova scored a hat-trick in their opening 4-1 win over tournament debutants Dominican Republic.

Jaime Lozano’s side followed that up by keeping a clean sheet and putting in a stylish 3-0 victory against Costa Rica. Their determination to succeed was highlighted by a 1-0 triumph over rivals USA in the group closer with a place in the semi-final already confirmed before the whistle. Finally, they won when the pressure was ramped up and when it mattered most, scoring two second-half goals against a strong Canada side.

  • The stat: Mexico are record winners in Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament history with eight championships to their name.

Carlos Obregon of Honduras celebrates with his teammates after scoring the first goal 

© Getty Images

Honduras make it four on the trot

Not even Mexico can say they’ve been to four consecutive Men’s Olympic Football Tournaments. Honduras have now represented the region at Beijing 2008, when they were regional champions en route to China PR, London 2012, when they finished as quarter-finalists and at Rio 2016, where they went all the way to the semi-finals. Will we see Los Catrachos in the Tokyo 2020 decider at International Stadium Yokohama on 7 August?

  • The stat: Having failed to qualify at all until Sydney 2000, Honduras have now only missed out on the final Olympic competition once since then, at Athens 2004.

Tournament awards

Best player: Alexis Vega (Mexico)

Top goalscorer: Sebastian Cordova – 4 goals (Mexico)

Best goalkeeper: Alex Barrios (Honduras)

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