Haiti picked a good time to score its first goal of the 2017 CONCACAF Men's U-17 Championship: the 10th minute of its must-win group stage game against Honduras. And it was a goal-of-the-tournament contender, a thunderous, swerving free kick from Obenson Leveille.
Haiti held the lead through half-time, and long enough into the second half to begin to think about qualification for the next round of the Championship. But a second yellow card for Jolicouer Etienne in the 67th minute made the task of holding out against Honduras a little harder - and Los Catrachos found an equalizer three minutes later. Goals by Carlos Mejia and Luis Palma in the last 10 minutes of the match put three points out of Haiti's reach.
The 3-1 loss concluded a disappointing tournament for Les Grenadiers, who qualified as the top team in the Caribbean and exited as the first team from their region to be officially eliminated. Haiti never quite mustered the necessary firepower to advance in the Championship, failing to score in its first two games and ultimately producing just one goal in three matches.
Shortly after Haiti's exit, Curacao was confirmed as the second team eliminated from the tournament. Home team Panama advanced to the Classification Stage as the winner of Group A after beating Curacao 1-0.
Panama lands in Group E of the Classification Stage, and is expected to be joined by Costa Rica (but possibly Cuba) and Mexico (but possibly Jamaica) when the other groups are settled.
Honduras goes to Group D, where it will play the USA and (probably) Cuba.
The top two teams from each Classification Stage group qualify for the 2017 U-17 World Cup. Matches in the next phase of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship will start on May 1.