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USA Fail To Reach The World Cup After Embarrassing Loss To Trinidad & Tobago

USA Fail To Reach The World Cup After Embarrassing Loss To Trinidad & Tobago
By Daniel Kelly
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I.

I believe.

I believe that.

I believe that we.

I believe that we will not be going to Russia.

The United States have failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Previously seen as a joke on the international stage, the team have gained worldwide respect in recent tournaments. Since reaching the quarter-finals in 2002, the side have made the knockout stages in two of the following three tournaments.

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Under Bruce Arena (and previously Jurgen Klinsmann), the side have struggled through the final round of CONCACAF's qualifying tournament. A 4-0 win last week against Panama, meant the side looked set to qualify. All they had to do was not lose to Trinidad and Tobago.

Somehow, they lost 2-1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKjFKSg8xRU

Trinidad and Tobago were in last place in the six team group having won one and losing eight of their opening games. In the reverse fixture last summer, the Americans won 2-0.

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On Tuesday night, they were trailing 2-0 at half-time. A botched clearance from Omar Gonzalez looped over a helpless Tim Howard into the net. Right-back Alvin Jones fired a rocket past Howard in the final ten minutes of the half to give the home side a surprising 2-0 lead.

In the second-half, Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic scored an early goal, but the USA were unable to find that crucial second goal.

All three games in the CONCACAF qualification group kicked off at the same time, and Arena's side looked on course to reach the inter-continental play-offs, before Panama took and 88th minute lead against Costa Rica. They won the game 2-1.

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Panama's win was mired in controversy though. Gabriel Torres' equaliser in the early stages of the second-half never appeared to cross the line, but the goal was still given.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZGaxkl46HI

The results in the CONCACAF group mean that Mexico, Costa Rica and first-time finalists Panama are on the way to Russia. Honduras will face a two-legged play-off against Australia to join the tree sides.

In a six-team group, somehow the United States finished in fifth place. They will have to wait until Qatar 2022 to return to the World Cup.

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SEE ALSO: Messi Bags A Hat-Trick To Rescue Argentina From World Cup Nightmare

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