Mexico will get to defend its Olympic title after they won the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament. Eight qualified teams were divided into two groups of four where the top two advanced to the semifinals. The two finalists were given spots to compete at the Olympics. The CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament was held over four cities across the United States from October 1st to October 13th 2015.
Group A was topped by the United States whom went undefeated and had an impressive 13-2 goal difference. After an opening 3-1 loss to the United States Canada was able to rebound and defeat Panama 3-1, but a 2-2 draw against Cuba was not enough to guarantee them a spot to the semifinals until the later match where the United States defeated Panama 4-0 which gave Canada the spot.
Honduras and Mexico gained full control of Group B as they defeated Costa Rica and Haiti in their first two matches to book their spots to the semifinals. In the match that would determine the winner of the group it was Mexico that took an early fourth minute lead, but 19 year old Alberth Elis drew level early in the second half. Mexico however was able to respond when Erick Torres scored in the 65th minute to win the match and group 2-1.
The first semi-final between the United States and Honduras took until the 24th minute where Alberth Elis gave Honduras the lead. Elis would double the lead at the 77th minute. While the United States tried to respond, they could never find the back of the net. They came close a few times including one goal that was ruled off-side. When the full time whistle blew Honduras had won the match 2-0 and qualified for the fourth time in five games.
The second semi-final between Mexico and Canada began with a quick goal by Mexico as Erick Torres scored in the sixth minute. Their lead doubled in the 57th minute when Hirving Lozano scored. Canada was given a lifeline when a penalty kick was awarded late in the match, but a miss and the inability to convert its chances left the match 2-0 as defending Olympic champions, Mexico will get to defend its title.
Mexico won the overall title by defeating Honduras 2-0. The United States took the bronze medal by defeating Canada 2-0. The win was important for the United States as it qualified them to the inter-continental match against Colombia which will decide which team goes to the Olympics.
Quotas by Nation
- Honduras – 1
- Mexico – 1
- CONCACAF. CONCACAF Men’s Qualification Schedule and Results. Access on October 13 2015.