It took 92 years, but on Wednesday night at Estadio Mateo Flores, 30,000 fans stopped chanting "Sí se puede" and started singing "Sí se pudo.”
Guatemala, who have never sent a team to the World Cup on any level, shocked the United States in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship with a 2-1 victory to qualify for the main event this summer in Colombia.
Henry López's 69th-minute tally proved to be the match-winner after Conor Doyle knotted the match three minutes earlier. Gerson Lima's third tally in as many games just after the half-hour mark opened the scoring.
With Bobby Wood unable to play due to knee injury, USA U-20 head coach Thomas Rongen made a couple changes to his starting XI.' got the nod at left fullback and Greg Garza was pushed up to midfield. Joe Gyau, who missed the match against Panama, returned to the flank despite not being 100 per cent.
The Americans avoided what would have been a disastrous blow in the fifth minute. Gale Agbossoumonde got tangled up with a Guatemalan attacker, as they raced for a ball on the sideline. The center back grabbed his right knee, as he fell to the ground and lay writhing in pain for half a minute. Agbossoumonde returned to the action after getting attention from the USA staff, but favored his injured appendage throughout the rest of the half.
The Americans dominated the early chances and should have scored in the eighth minute. The ball bounced to Kelyn Rowe just over midfield and the UCLA forward took a touch around goalkeeper Diego Armando Chacón, who had raced to intercept but arrived late.
Rowe (pictured at right), faced with a tight angle on an empty net, indecisively half-shot and half-passed to a streaking Doyle. However, a Guatemalan defender came rushing in and knocked the ball out for a corner before it could find its target.
After the early flurry of US pressure, the home side started to believe in themselves and gained long stretches of possession. The goal came in the 33rd minute off a Kendel Herrarte corner, when USA goalkeeperand his backline failed to communicate. The opportunistic Lima used his head to put the ball into the net.
The USA demonstrated a renewed intensity after the break, making attack after attack. The's forced an impressive save from Chacón in the 57th minute, but nothing came of the ensuing corner kick.
Doyle finally rewarded the US effort, tying the match in the 66th minute. Okugo, standing near midfield, spotted the streaking Derby County striker, who took one touch at the 18-yard box before chipping the Guatemalan goalkeeper.
Estadio Mateo Flores exploded three minutes later, however, as Hernandez and Agbossoumonde could not handle an over-the-top ball. López found the ball between his feet and beat a sprawling MacMath to the right for the winner.
The Americans pushed forward and had the run of play, with Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Omar Salgado coming as a late substitute for Greg Garza, but they failed to earn the equalizer. Guatemala join in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama in qualfying for this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup from CONCACAF.