US out of World Cup contention with 2-1 loss at Trinidad

FILE - In this Sunday, July 13, 2014 file photo, German players reach out to touch the trophy after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Morocco will bid to host the 2026 World Cup, giving a joint bid from North America some competition. The Morocco Football Federation announced its intention to bid on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 the deadline for countries to express their interest. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

COUVA, Trinidad (AP) – The United States has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans’ streak of seven straight appearances at soccer’s showcase.

Twenty-eight years after a stunning victory at Trinidad put the Americans back in the World Cup after a four-decade absence, their chances for next year’s tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States was eliminated with a 2-1 defeat Tuesday night – the first time missing the World Cup since 1986.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat – coupled with Honduras’ come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama’s 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres’ 88th-minute goal – dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

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