Soccer

‘We let down an entire nation today’: U.S. to miss World Cup for first time since 1986

United States defender Matt Besler sits on the field after a 2-1 loss to host Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday eliminated the U.S. from World Cup contention.
United States defender Matt Besler sits on the field after a 2-1 loss to host Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday eliminated the U.S. from World Cup contention. The Associated Press

There won’t be an eighth consecutive World Cup appearance for the United States.

Trinidad and Tobago scored twice in the first half and held on for a 2-1 victory Tuesday in Couva, Trinidad. Combined with wins for Panama and Honduras, the U.S. will miss soccer’s grand tournament for the first time since 1986.

“We let down an entire nation today,” U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez told The Associated Press.

The Americans conceded an own goal in the 17th minute, then Alvin Jones doubled T&T’s lead with a 37th-minute strike from 35 yards out. U.S. phenom Christian Pulisic scored in the 47th, but that was all the Americans would get.

“No excuses for us not getting the second goal and at least a point,” U.S. coach Bruce Arena told AP. “It’s a blemish for us.”

The Americans, ranked 28th in the world by FIFA, could have clinched with a win or even a draw, provided Honduras or Panama didn’t make up huge deficits in goal differential. Even with the loss, the U.S. gets in with losses or draws by Panama and Honduras.

Instead, the U.S. goes home, beaten by a 99th-ranked team which entered the match 1-8 in hexagonal play.

Here’s how soccer fans are reacting to the loss:

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