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U.S. men's soccer fails to qualify for World Cup for 1st time since 1986

AP

United States' Christian Pulisic, left, fight for the ball with Trinidad and Tobago's Nathan Lewis during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (Rebecca Blackwell)

AP
COUVA, Trinidad --
The U.S. men's soccer team has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans' streak of seven straight appearances at the global sport'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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(Copyright ©2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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