The United States have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, after a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Trinidad & Tobago saw them finish fifth in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The USMNT who were sitting in third place in CONCACAF, only needed a tie and were confident of victory against the world’s 99th ranked team, but instead found themselves eliminated from the World Cup contention. And coach Bruce Arena has accepted full responsibility for failing to get his team ranked 28th through.
The match was played in front of a few hundred people at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva where a few days before the squad had trained on it’s flooded pitch due to the heavy rainfall that Trinidad had been experiencing.
The USA conceded twice in the first-half following an Omar Gonzalez own goal in the 17th minute and a second from Alvin Jones in the 52nd minute. Christian Pulisic reduced the deficit in the 47th minute but it proved to be too little too late as the US couldn’t find an equaliser.
Arena said after the match: ‘Clearly we are very disappointed. We had everything there for us today. No excuses for us not getting a second goal and coming away with at least a point.
‘It’s a blemish for us. We should not be staying at home for this World Cup and I accept responsibility.
‘It never mattered to us the scores of the other games. We failed on the day. No excuses. We failed today. We should have walked off this field with at least a point.
‘It’s clearly good for CONCACAF that it was such a competitive go at it this time around. Certainly Mexico have been the dominant team in the Hexagonal.
‘Costa Rica proved to be of quality. And the teams that finished third [Panama], fourth [Honduras] and fifth [USA] were pretty inconsistent throughout the campaign.’