09/07/2012 11:04 EDT | Updated 11/07/2012 05:12 EST

Canada advances to gold medal final at under-18 world baseball championship

SEOUL, South Korea - Canada will play for gold at the under-18 world baseball championships for the first time in more than 20 years.

Despite a 9-3 loss to South Korea on Friday, the Canadians secured a spot in Saturday's final against the United States based on tournament standings.

"In the big picture of things (today's) game didn't matter, it was a situation where we just had to get through it," said Canadian manager Greg Hamilton. "Tomorrow's game is what matters."

Canada finished the second round with a 3-2 record.

The last gold-medal appearance for Canada came in 1991 when a team led by Stubby Clapp and Jason Dickson defeated Taiwan 5-2 in Brandon, Man.

It was Canada's only gold medal at the event. The Canadians won bronze in 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2006.

"For the program this is very significant," said Hamilton. "As I said to the guys, it's not every day you get to play for a world championship.''

Canada defeated the Americans in extra innings earlier in the tournament.

"We like our arms for tomorrow, we like our opportunity for tomorrow," said Hamilton. "We have everyone ready (to pitch) that we want for tomorrow and we're excited."

Hamilton says the Canadians have plenty of depth.

"We have a team that can pitch, a team that can play defence and we have dimension to our offence," he said. "We've got some right/left balance in our (batting) order, some speed at the top of the order and we have experience on the mound."

Myles Vincent of Corner Brook, N.L., took the loss in Friday's game. Chris Shaw of Winnipeg was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.