Qualified US Under-20s lose

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CANADA inflicted a rare defeat on the US Under-20 national team, winning 3-2, in Charleston on Sunday, although the US had already qualified for the 2003 World Youth Championships by winning their previous two matches.

An under-strength USA battled back from a 3-0 deficit and dominated the final 17 minutes of the match, but were unable to find the equaliser in a game that featured four goals in a six-minute span of the second half.

Tranmere Rovers' Iain Hume opened the scoring for Canada, before two goals in a minute - from Chris Lemire and Hume again - put the North American rivals into a 3-0 lead with just 19 minutes remaining.

However, the US bounced back with two goals of their own, courtesy of Arsenal youngster Frank Simek and Dallas striker Ed Johnson on 73 and 76 minutes respectively, both set-up by DC United winger Bobby Convey. It would prove to be too little too late.

With the win Canada advanced to the 2003 World Youth Championship and will join the US, Mexico and Panama as CONCACAF's four representatives in United Arab Emirates from March 25-April 16, 2003.

The US qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship with a win on Friday against El Salvador, and manager Thomas Rongen made five changes from the line-up that he sent out two days ago.

Ned Grabavoy, Jordan Stone, Knox Cameron, David Johnson and Simek were all given starts, as the US rested players after two taxing games in three days to open the tournament.

"Our boys definitely came out to play, but we just had about 15 minutes where we were a little out of it defensively, and we paid for it," said Rongen, who was without suspended star striker Santino Quaranta.

"We were able to look at some different players, but at the same time we really wanted to get a win. I was very impressed with the fight and the heart we showed after going down 3-0 and then nearly coming back to tie it up."