The phantom Panama goal that sent US crashing out

The U.S. will miss the World Cup. More

The U.S. will miss the World Cup. More

Not only on his command of a national game in decline, but why, as a member of the ruling bodies at FIFA and CONCACAF, he is not known to have demanded goal-line technology was used in all stadiums during the final group stage.

The newspaper notes that the upset comes nearly "28 years after the United States denied Trinidad and Tobago a World Cup berth with a 1-0 win in Port of Spain, on November 19, 1989". But the governing body is the ultimate organizer of the games and in charge of whittling 210 teams into 31 finalists, all of whom will benefit from technology in Russia.

However, defeat to lowly Trinidad and Tobago, coupled with victories for Panama and Honduras meant Bruce Arena's men dropped out of the North American qualifying spots altogether, down to fifth.

Some of the calls for change have been directed at U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, who could now face an uphill battle if he decides to run for re-election in February.

Panama sits fourth in the group just ahead of Honduras with just 10 points.

"Firstly, I want to apologize to the nation and to coach Dennis Lawrence, his staff and my teammates for the way in way the results went". Others said the collapse was proof that the U.S. player development system is inherently flawed.

Panama scored an equalizer that never crossed the line.

After losing the first two matches in the final round under Jurgen Klinsmann, the Americans seemed back on track with Arena in charge.

This is not a result that stands on its own. Now they have to ensure it is rolled out universally, especially in some of FIFA's biggest games outside of World Cups.

In the 69th minute, Foncette made an outstanding save on Dempsey's one-timer from the top of the box. "Tonight is for getting over the shock a little bit".

"It was the most unlucky goal ever for myself", Gonzalez said, "one that will haunt me forever". "As a program, we have to get better".

This shouldn't even be considered a controversial statement.

The Panamanians' 2-1 victory saw them in third place and guaranteed them a debut World Cup appearance in Russia next year, alongside fellow regional qualifiers Costa Rica, who finished second, and Mexico, who topped the table. It's a sureness that permeates throughout the whole of the game in this country, where despite massive problems from youth development through the pro game, there is a belief that things are headed in the right direction.

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