USA completes Olympic group play

Feb. 7, 2004 at 7:42 PM
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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Alecko Eskandarian's hat trick gave the United States a 4-3 victory over Honduras on Saturday, completing group play in the Olympic qualifying tourney.

The Americans were perfect in group play, but now faces a must-win semifinal against Mexico.

Kyle Beckerman also scored for the shorthanded Americans (3


0), who played much of the match with 10 men after Jose Burciaga was ejected in the 31st minute.

Team USA collected nine points in group play but still needs to beat Mexico (2


1) on Tuesday to qualify for the Olympics this summer. Honduras (2-1-0) will face Costa Rica (2
1) in the other semifinal Tuesday night.

By winning, the Americans draw the Mexicans, who will be playing in front of an expected 60,000 fans in Jalisco. To their credit, they played for a win when a loss may have helped more.

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