Welcome strikes overtime winner to stun U.S.

March 20, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The United States' Under-23 team had plenty of chances to score. Georgie Wilson Welcome of Honduras was the only one who did.

Welcome beat keeper Dominic Cervi in the 103rd minute of overtime with a kick to the top right corner of the net, and Honduras held on for a 1-0 victory Sunday in the CONCACAF men's Olympic qualifying tournament championship game.

The Americans kept trying to tie the game, but Honduras kept clearing the ball. Sacha Kljestan had a chance only to kick the ball just over the goal from just outside the penalty box.

The only thing at stake Sunday for either team was pride and bragging rights for winning the CONCACAF men's Olympic qualifying tournament. Canada beat Guatemala for third earlier Sunday, 5-3 on penalty kicks.

Both finalists already clinched what really mattered in this tournament in the semifinals Thursday night. The United States earned a 13th Olympic berth with a 3-0 win over Canada, while Honduras pulled out a 6-5 win over Guatemala on penalty kicks to advance.

The Americans played without Freddy Adu, defender Jonathan Spector, Charlie Davies and Salvatore Zizzo, who returned to their club teams. Honduras played without Hendry Thomas, who was unavailable after picking up a yellow card in the semifinal.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press