COUVA , TRINIDAD – The United States failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 on Tuesday, crashing to a shock 2-1 defeat against Trinidad and Tobago.
An own goal from Omar Gonzalez, in the 16th minute put Trinidad and Tobago in front, before a stunning striker from defender Alvin Jones, in the 37th, gave Trinidad and Tobago a shock 2-0 lead.
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.
With a 2-1 victory over USA, Trinidad and Tobago has officially booted the Americans out of the 2018 World Cup.
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.
But the shock of the night was without a doubt the US failure at the final hurdle.
The United States had needed only a draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium here to be virtually certain of securing at least a playoff spot.