The United States is definitely not one of the major forces in world football but they have made it a habit to qualify for the FIFA World Cup which takes place every four years. The U.S put themselves in a tight spot after suffering losses to Mexico and Costa Rica which meant that their qualifying match against Trinidad was a must win match for them to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which takes place in Russia.
First Non-Appearance Since 1986
The U.S football team went into the match under immense pressure as a loss would mean that they would fail to qualify for the first time since 1986. They had a horrible start to the match as they conceded an own goal and that gave Trinidad the momentum and the self-belief that they could win.
Trinidad then scored for the second time when Alvin Jones fired in a shot from 35 yards to make it 2-0. The U.S could have suffered further embarrassment as Trinidad came very close to making it 3-0 but the shot was stopped. The U.S only needed to draw their game against Trinidad to qualify and they were in with a chance after their 19 year old star Christian Pulisic scored in the 37th minute. However Trinidad managed to defend well and finished on a 2-1 winning note.
No Excuses For Letting Down The Nation
American fans will be disappointed with the result and so will the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) which has worked hard for the last two decades to promote football in the country and bring together major sponsors and TV partners. Fox will also be disappointed with the fact that America is out of the world cup because they purchased the U.S broadcasting rights from ESPN. The USSF planned on hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Mexico and Canada.
U.S players were visibly devastated after their loss and defender Omar Gonzalez said that the players realized that they let down the nation. Coach Bruce Arena said that this loss and elimination from the 2018 World Cup was a blemish on the side and no excuses could be made. The U.S might take comfort from the fact that Holland who are one of the top teams in world football has also failed to qualify.
Argentina, France & Portugal Qualify
Argentina, France and Portugal are recognized as some of the top teams in world football and they are always expected to qualify. However Argentina was also in a tight spot but their captain Lionel Messi scored thrice against Ecuador to make certain Argentina qualified. Brazil who had already qualified put in another great performance against Chile to win 2-0 and stop Chile from qualifying.
France played poorly against Belarus but still managed to win 2-1 and book themselves a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Portugal dominated Switzerland in their match to win 2-0 and automatically qualify. Iceland also thrilled their fans in Reykjavik by beating Kosovo 2-0 and qualifying.