Their exit was confirmed by results in Tuesday's other Concacaf qualifiers, where Panama booked their 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.
In my life... idk if I've ever seen a larger setback for USA soccer Well... Ever...— Mike LaBelle (@HashtagMike18) October 11, 2017
But the shock of the night was without a doubt the US failure at the final hurdle. Bruce Arena's side had needed only a draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium to be virtually certain of securing at least a playoff spot. After thrashing Panama 4-0 last Friday, the Americans had arrived in the Caribbean confident of securing the result needed to extend a proud record of qualifying for every World Cup since 1990.
USA soccer is basically Arkansas football. Mostly average. Brief brushes with greatness. And embarrassing losses at the worst possible times— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) October 11, 2017
Yet it started to go wrong for Arena's men after 17 minutes when Gonzalez's sliced clearance looped high and over the stranded Tim Howard to put T & T 1-0 up. It got worse just after the half-hour mark when Alvin Jones produced a goal out of nothing to double the home side's lead. Gathering the ball on the right flank, roughly 35 yards from goal, Jones let fly with a ferocious shot which flew past Howard to make it 2-0.
USA actually has superb youth soccer but we trot out Tim Howard who's almost 40 & Bruce Arena relevant 15 years ago & expect results? #USMNTOctober 11, 2017
Pulisic then gave the US hope with a deflected shot soon after half-time to make it 2-1. As the changing score in the other games began to filter through to the American ranks, the US became increasingly desperate. But despite the desperation, Trinidad and Tobago held firm for a famous win that is likely to trigger a prolonged inquest in US football.
QUALIFIED! ? Congratulations, ??Panama! Los Canaleros will make their #WorldCup debut in ??Russia! #WCQ pic.twitter.com/OG0oU2CsIT— #WCQ ⚽️? (@FIFAWorldCup) October 11, 2017
RESULTS T & T 2 (Gonzalez 17-og, Jones 37) USA 1 (Pulisic 47) Panama 2 (Torres 52, 88) Costa Rica 1 (Venegas 36) Honduras 3 (Elis 34, Ochoa 53-og, Quioto 60) Mexico 2 (Peralta 17, Vela 37) POINTS TABLE Teams M W D L GD Pts Mexico10 6 3 1 9 21 - Qualified Costa Rica 10 4 4 2 6 16 - Qualified Panama 10 3 4 3 -1 13 - Qualified Honduras 10 3 4 3 -6 13 - Playoff USA 10 3 3 4 4 12 - Eliminated T & T 10 2 0 8 -12 6 - Eliminated
Heartbreak for the United States. Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are in. Honduras in the playoff. https://t.co/1CwrBVbh8I pic.twitter.com/459TKQ3JWO— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 11, 2017
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