The Sports Bay


Panama Make World Cup Party For The First Time Ever

Panama’s late win at home to Costa Rica saw them qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup for the first time ever.

However, the United States will miss out on next summer’s World Cup following a defeat to Trinidad & Tobago

Bruce Arena’s side started the night in the third qualifying place but Roman Torres’ 88th-minute winner sent Panama to their first ever finals.

The US missed out on even a play-off with Australia, as Honduras took that spot by beating Mexico.

USA last missed a World Cup in 1986.

The US beat Panama 4-0 just last Friday but, despite playing a Trinidad & Tobago side with just three points from nine games before kick-off, never looked close to securing a place in Russia.

Omar Gonzalez stretched to cut out a cross and only succeeded in steering the ball past veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard, before Alvin Jones rocketed in a superb 35-yard strike to double the hosts’ lead.

Borussia Dortmund teenager – and star of the win in Panama – Christian Pulisic gave the US hope soon after the restart with a fine long-range goal of his own, but with Honduras beating Mexico it looked like a play-off place for the States.

And then, with time running out in Panama City, Torres – who plays his club football in Seattle – latched on to a long ball forwards and smashed in off the crossbar to send Panama through and leave the US in the wilderness.

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