The USA beat Canada, 2-0, in the Concacaf U-17 Men's Championship semifinals to advance to Sunday's final against Mexico.
The final will be the third straight USA-Mexico final. Mexico won in 2017 in a shootout (after 1-1 tie) and in overtime (2-1) in 2019.
Coach Gonzalo Segares made nine changes -- the maximum allowed with a 20-player roster -- from the team that beat host Guatemala, 5-3, in the all-important quarterfinals that qualified four Concacaf teams to the 2023 Under-17 World Cup in Peru.
The winning goal came in the 36th minute on a bending free kick by Micah Burton inside the near post from 25 yards out after he was fouled. Keyrol Figueroa scored in the dying seconds of stoppage time to clinch the win.
"We had a few chances that we didn't up away," said Segares, "but they kept pushing and stayed positive. We had a great goal by Micah on that free kick that gave us a little bit of breathing room. We kept the same mentality in the second half with our pressing. We talked about being relentless and making it difficult for them."
Figueroa's goal was his seventh in six games, tying him for the tournament scoring lead with Mexico’s Stephano Carrillo, who added his seventh goal in the 5-0 win over Panama in the other semifinal.
David Vazquez assisted on Figueroa's goal to give him four assists, tied with Paulo Rudisill for the most on the U.S. U-17s. Twelve of the 18 U.S. field players have one goal or one assist.
Feb. 24 in Guatemala City USA 2 Canada 0. Goals: Burton 36, Figueroa 90+4 USA -- Beaudry; Harangi, Hall, Hawkins, Verhoeven; Mendoza (Soma, 80), Gil, Aquino (Medina, 70); Soto (Romero, 59), Burton (Figueroa, 80), Rudisill (Vazquez, 70). Canada -- O’Brien; Rigopoulos (Fong, 84), de Montigny, Biello, Omeze, Stefanovic, Badwai, Chukwu, Mackenzie (N’Diaye, 59), Vojvodic (Pop, 59), Dumitru (Ozimec, 72). Yellow cards: USA — Mendoza 53, Gill 89; Canada – Omeze 41, Chukwu 50. Red cards: none. Referee: Christopher Mason (Jamaica). ARs: Kemar Gayle (Jamaica), William Chow (Costa Rica). 4th Official: Okeito Nicholson (Jamaica) Att.: 200.