US knocked out af­ter shock loss to Trinidad & Tobago

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Couva, Trinidad and Tobago - The United States failed to qual­ify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 on Tues­day, crash­ing to a shock 1-2 de­feat against al­readye­lim­i­nated Trinidad & Tobago.

In a re­sult that will be viewed as a catas­tro­phe for foot­ball in the US, Trinidad took all three points via an Omar Gon­za­lez own goal and a su­perb strike from Alvin Jones.

US star Chris­tian Pulisic pulled a goal back in the se­cond half, but the in­creas­ingly des­per­ate Amer­i­cans were un­able to find an­other to res­cue their hopes.

Its exit was con­firmed by re­sults in Tues­day's other CONCACAF qual­i­fiers, where Panama booked its place at the World Cup for the first time with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in Panama City.

Hon­duras then snatched fourth place in the ta­ble with a 3-2 win over Mex­ico, who had al­ready qual­i­fied.

The Hon­durans will now face Aus­tralia in a two-legged play­off next month for a place in the fi­nals. But the shock of the night was the US fail­ure at the fi­nal hur­dle.

Shell-shocked US coach Bruce Arena said his team had "failed."

"Clearly we are very dis­ap­pointed. We had ev­ery­thing there for us to­day. No ex­cuses for us not get­ting a se­cond goal and com­ing away with at least a point," Arena said.

"It's a blem­ish for us. We should not be stay­ing at home for this World Cup and I take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

We failed on the day: Arena

"It never mat­tered to us the scores of the other games. We failed on the day. No ex­cuses. We failed to­day. We should have walked off this field with at least a point."

Arena's side had needed only a draw at the Ato Boldon Sta­dium to se­cure at least a play­off spot.

How­ever, Tues­day's fail­ure makes it likely that se­ri­ous ques­tions will be asked. Arena warned against snap de­ci­sions.

"To make any kind of crazy changes would be fool­ish," the vet­eran coach warned.

(AFP)

Michael Bradley (left) and Chris­tian Pulisic of the US team re­act af­ter their shock loss to Trinidad & Tobago dur­ing the 2018 World Cup CONCACAF qual­i­fier on Tues­day

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