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

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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:


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.