Watch: Phantom Panama goal helps eliminate U.S. from World Cup

Henry Bushnell
(Twitter)
(Twitter)

The United States men’s national team has only itself to blame for its stunning failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

But a lot had to go wrong for the U.S. to be eliminated on Tuesday night. A lot did go wrong. And one of those things was a shocking refereeing decision in the Panama-Costa Rica game.

Despite its own loss in Trinidad, the U.S. would still have been alive with a Panama loss or draw against Costa Rica. The Panamanians trailed 1-0 at halftime. But they got back into the game with … this:

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Panama striker Blas Perez, falling the box, lunged toward the ball, leading with his upper body. The ball quite clearly never crossed the line.

Panama then scored a late winner to send the U.S. crashing out.