It wasn’t pretty, but the U.S. Boys Youth National Team still has a chance to finish the World Championship in ninth place despite a losing record in the second round.
No. 9 United States (2-4, 1-2 Pool H, 3 points) qualified for the ninth place semifinals after finishing the consolation second round in a three-way tie for second place and winning the point differential tiebreak on Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The United States began the final day of second-round pool-play in third place in Pool H and lost to previous winless Korea in five games. However, the one point the United States received for forcing the match to a fifth game, coupled with first-place Iran sweeping Russia created a three-way tie for the final Pool H berth to the ninth place semifinals.
The United States defeated Russia (2-4, 1-2 Pool H, 3 points) and Korea (1-5, 1-2 Pool H, 3 points) in the point differential tiebreaker. The United States led the three teams with a 0.953 point ratio in the second round, while Korea had a 0.950 point ratio and Russia had a 0.928 point ratio.
With this second-place finish, the United States is guaranteed no worse than a 12th-place finish in the 16-team international tournament.
The United States will play No. 6 Brazil in its ninth-place semifinals match at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. EST) in Buenos Aires.
The winner of this match will play the winner of the semifinals match between No. 4 Iran and No. 10 Egypt for ninth place. The two losers of these matches will play each other for 11th place.
Brazil (4-2, 3-0 Pool G) won its second-round consolation pool and only lost one game during second-round three matches.