The US will not be going to the World Cup next summer after a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Trinidad & Tobago saw them finish fifth in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table.
While the Americans only have themselves to blame for a catastrophic performance, it also took an unlikely combination of results for the US to miss out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.
“We didn’t qualify for the World Cup,” USA national coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “That was my job. To get the team qualified for the World Cup.”
“This game in my view was perfectly positioned for the US team and we failed on the day. We have no excuses. We failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point.” – Cara Daftar Sbobet
After going behind to the Hexagonal group’s bottom team and were unable to find an equaliser, they needed help from others in the group.
They did not get it, as Mexico lost 3-2 to Honduras, while a late goal from Panama to beat Costa Rica 2-1 pushed the US out of fourth place, which would have sent them into a two-legged playoff with Australia next month.
The US beat Panama 4-0 just last Friday but, despite playing a Trinidad & Tobago side with just three points from nine games before kick-off, never looked close to securing a place in Russia.
Mexico and Costa Rica had already qualified – Mexico as group winners – while Panama take the third automatic spot courtesy of their 87th-minute winner. In the playoff for the right to join them in Russia, Honduras will face Australia, whose coach, Ange Postecoglou, will reportedly step down after the playoff games.