US to play Honduras for berth in men’s Olympic soccer

The United States will play Honduras for a berth in the Olympic men’s soccer tournament in a doubleheader opener Sunday night at Guadalajara, and host Mexico will play Canada for a spot at the Tokyo Games.

The U.S.-Honduras game is a rematch of the October 2015 qualification game, won by Honduras 2-0. That year’s format saw the semifinal loser go to a playoff for another berth, and the U.S. lost a home-and-home series against Colombia on 3-2 aggregate and missed its second straight Olympics.

This year’s format does not include a playoff, and Sunday’s two winners will complete the 16-nation field for the Olympic tournament, to be played from July 21 to Aug. 7 in Tokyo, Kashima, Miyagi, Saitama, Sapporo and Yokohama.

Olympic men’s soccer qualifying is limited to players born Jan. 1, 2007, or later, though each team can add three wild-card players over the age limit for the tournament in Japan. Clubs are not required to release players for qualifying or the Olympics.

Honduras rallied to tie Canada 1-1 on Thursday and finish first in Group B. The U.S. finished second in Group A with a 1-0 loss to Mexico on Wednesday night.

Derek Cornelius of the Vancouver Whitecaps put Canada ahead in the 28th minute, and Denil Maladonado of Chile’s Everton tied the score in the 30th, with both scoring on headers.

Midfielder Kervin Arriaga received his second yellow card of the tournament in the 67th minute and will be suspended for the semifinal.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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