Disaster: One of the goals that eliminated USA from the World Cup never went in
Panama scored a goal that never crossed the goal line, and as a result, the United States are eliminated from World Cup contention
Thein shocking fashion on Tuesday following a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. Honduras defeated Mexico 3-2 and Panama topped Costa Rica 2-1 thanks to an 88th minute goal by Roman Torres.
Torres' goal, however, may not be the goal we remember for years to come that eliminated the United States. Their first goal -- an equalizer in the 53rd minute by Gabriel Torres -- was awarded by CONCACAF officials despite not even crossing the line. Check the controversial goal:
From another angle:
That clearly didn't look like it crossed the line. To reiterate, the entire ball has to cross the goal line in order for a goal to be awarded. FIFA is expected to use goal-line technology for the first time in World Cup history this summer in Russia. Goal-line technology and even VAR, video assistant replay, is used in several major soccer leagues around the world. That technology, however, has not been implemented into World Cup qualifying play.
Entering Tuesday, Bruce Arena's squad was up two points on Panama and Honduras. Had that goal not counted, Panama would have finished with a draw and the United States would have finished the hexagonal group stage in fifth place and would have faced Australia in a home-and-away playoff round for the right to earn a chance to be in the World Cup next summer in Russia.
What happened in Panama was obviously out of the hands of the USMNT. There's no excuses for a loss at Trinidad and Tobago. But it will be interesting to see how this impacts any changes FIFA makes when it comes to goal-line technology and VAR in World Cup qualifying games moving forward.
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