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Christian Pulisic has been a bright spark in the US’s campaign but will have to wait at least another four years to make his World Cup debut

The United States will miss out on next summer’s World Cup in Russia as an abject defeat to Trinidad & Tobago coupled with Panama’s late win at home to Costa Rica saw them knocked out.

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.

Centre-back Roman Torres was the hero for Panama with an 88th-minute winner

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.

The US – and Costa Rica – will not be happy with Panama’s opening goal. Replays suggested that Gabriel Torres’ header did not cross the line.

BBC News – US & Canada

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