WATCH: Soto singled out in US loss to Mexico
- Credit: Imago/PA Images
Norwich City forward Sebastian Soto had a night to forget after his error was punished by Mexico's Under-23s in a 1-0 defeat for the USA U-23s in the race to qualify for the Olympics.
Soto's blind pass deep in his own half was intercepted by Uriel Antuna, who rifled home a low shot from the edge of the area past David Ochoa to give the hosts a narrow win in Guadalajara on Wednesday night.
Both countries had already qualified for the Concacaf semi-finals, but the US now face a winner-takes-all game against either Honduras or Canada this weekend to secure one of the final two places available for the 16-team men's tournament at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
Soto was replaced after 61 minutes of the defeat in his first start at the tournament for Jason Kreis' side, and the head coach admitted afterwards the City youngster was at fault.
“He had all kinds of time. He tried to play a first-time pass and got intercepted,” he said. “Ultimately the goal came from their press: a forward that dropped down and instead of controlling the ball and taking two touches. We saw really bright spots.
"I think we also saw spots where we were like, wow, these guys are still rusty and still making mistakes that you don’t typically see them make in passes and movements.
"I was pleased, really pleased that we were brave enough to build out of the back. I think that we had quite a bit of success with it – of course there was an error here and there.
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"We’re very fortunate that we have a very deep roster, a lot of guys here that we believe can play in any of these matches and do very well. But we’re still building fitness, whereas the Mexican players are all in the middle of their season. We are very much in our pre-season mode.
“The most important thing is the semi-final match and so we went into this game with that really guiding us."
Soto was recalled by the Canaries in January from a prolific goalscoring spell on loan at Dutch second tier club, SC Telstar, that also brought a senior international debut for the US earlier this season
The 20-year-old has yet to make a senior appearance for City, who he joined on a three-year deal last summer after his contract with Hannover expired.