[CONCACAF UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP]Corey Baird's goal in the 49th minute was the difference as the USA defeated Guatemala, 1-0 to move into the quarterfinals of the Concacaf U-17 Championship in Panama City. It will face Honduras on Sunday with a berth on the line for the 2013 Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The USA will be seeking to keep its record intact of having qualified for every U-17 World Cup.
The Americans scored when Rubio Rubinsent a cross that Guatemala goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen could not grab at the far post. Baird was free to head the ball home for the game's only goal.
Guatemala's best chance for the equalizer came in the 88th minute when Christopher Ortiz unleashed a shot that goalkeeper Jeff Caldwellstopped for his only save of the match.
Coach Richie Williams made two starting lineup changes following the USA's 3-0 victory over Haiti. Boca Juniors midfielder Joel Sonora,the son of three-time MLS All-StarDiego Sonora, made his first international start for the U-17s, and Junior Flores, reported to have signed a pre-contract with Borussia Dortmund, earned his first playing time of the tournament.
The USA needed to win or tie to avoid facing Mexico -- the 2011 Under-17 World Cup champion -- in the quarterfinals. Mexico won Group D with a 2-0 win over Honduras.
April 11 in Panama City
USA 1 Guatemala 0.Goal: Baird 49.
USA --Caldwell, Moore, Redding, Donovan, Requejo, Lema (Turner, 72), Sonora, Baird (Heredia, 78), J.Flores, Selemani (Elney, 83), Rubin
Guatemala --Hagen, Yanes, Ramirez, Perez (Arana, 35; Ruano, 80), Ortiz, Meda, Samayoa (Vigil, 77), Hernandez, Ruiz, Rivera, Curup.
Referee:Henry Bejarano (CRC)