Football: Mexico Wins CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship

Mexico won its third straight CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. They along with runners-up Honduras completed the roster for the men’s football tournament to be held at the games. The format saw eight teams competing in two groups where the top two advanced to the semi-finals. The event was held in Guadalajara and Zapopan, Mexico from March 18th to March 30th 2021.

Group A contained CONCACAF rivals Mexico and the United States. The two teams won their first two matches over Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to set up a showdown between the two teams for first place of the group. The match was won 1-0 by Mexico thanks to a goal by Uriel Antuna. Costa Rica finished third as they defeated the Dominican Republic 5-0 in their final match.

Group B began with Honduras defeating an undermanned Haiti 3-0 while Canada won over El Salvador 2-0. The second set of matches saw a pair of draws where Haiti and Canada drew 0-0 and El Salvador and Honduras drew 1-1. El Salvador created a chance at advancing during the final day of group stage matches as they won 2-1 over Haiti, but a 1-1 draw between Honduras and Canada meant the latter teams advanced with Honduras finishing first due to goal differential.

The semi-finals were essentially the Olympic qualification matches. The first match between Honduras and the United States saw the former take a 2-0 lead early into the second half and while the United States pulled one back they were unable to score again, allowing Honduras to qualify to the Olympics with a 2-1 victory. The second match between Mexico and Canada was a stalemate during the first half, but two second half goals allowed Mexico to win 2-0. The final went to a penalty shoot-out after Mexico scored a penalty goal during the 80th minute. They were able to win the shoot-out 5-4.

This will be Mexico’s 12th appearance in the men’s tournament at the Olympics. The nation has one medal, a gold won at the 2012 Olympics. For Honduras this is their fifth games. The nation will be hoping to better their performance in 2016 where they finished fourth in hopes to win their first Olympic medal. This completes the 16-team roster at the Olympics, all that remains is the group draw set to be held in April.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Tournament
* Honduras
* Mexico

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