COUVA, Trinidad — The United States has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans’ streak of seven straight appearances at soccer’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.
FOXBORO - Lalas Abubakar scored in the 85th minute to give the Columbus Crew their third straight victory, 1-0 over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
Abubakar headed home Federico Higuain's corner, overwhelming goalkeeper Matt Turner, who got his hands on the shot, for his first goal of the season.
Zack Steffen had six saves for his sixth shutout of the season for the Crew (7-3-3).
The Revolution dropped to 5-4-2.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Cristian Penilla scored twice in the first seven minutes and the New England Revolution held off Toronto FC 3-2 on Saturday night.
Sebastian Giovinco pulled defending MLS Cup champion Toronto within a goal on a penalty kick in the 89th minute. But before the following kick off, the Italian grabbed Wilfried Zahibo's face and was sent off for violent conduct.
Penilla opened the scoring for the Revs (5-3-2) in the fourth minute with a run up the middle of the central defense and a straightaway finish after Teal Bunbury's takeaway and feed from near midfield.
Penilla pounced on an errant pass deep in Toronto's territory and sent it quickly back at net to catch goalkeeper Alex Bono out of position in the seventh.
Bunbury made it 3-0 in the 46th minute with his fifth goal of the season, a right-footed blast into far corner.
Antonio Delamea conceded an own goal in the 55th minute to give Toronto (2-6-1) its first goal.