The United States finished last in the three-team championship group, but it still will qualify for the 1997 World Youth Championship if, as expected, FIFA, at its May 31 executive commttee meeting, expands the field to 24 teams.
Canada, the third team in the group, won the tournament by virtue of its better goal difference over Mexico (plus-2 vs. plus-1). The two teams played to a 2-2 tie and both beat the United States.
Mexico led the United States 2-0 at halftime. The Americans were unable to capitalize on a host of second-half chances until central defender Ubusuku Abukusumo (N.C. State) scored on a header in the dying minutes.
The goal ended a scoreless streak for the United States that extended more than 200 minutes.
Four teams will go from CONCACAF if the Malaysia '97 field is expanded to 24 teams: Canada, Mexico, USA and Costa Rica, winner of the qualification round.