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Trinidad and Tobago 2 USA 1: Americans fail to qualify for World Cup for first time in 32 years after shock defeat

USA will miss next year’s World Cup after a shock defeat at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday. Bruce Arena’s side finished fifth in the final North American standings in a disastrous end to their qualifying campaign. The US hadn’t missed the World Cup since 1986 and have generally made light work of qualifying. But their […]

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USA will miss next year’s World Cup after a shock defeat at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.

Bruce Arena’s side finished fifth in the final North American standings in a disastrous end to their qualifying campaign.

Trinidad and Tobago pulled off a shock win over USA
Trinidad and Tobago pulled off a shock win over USA
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USA finished fifth in the North American final standings. Panama joined Mexico and Costa Rica in qualifying for the World Cup while fourth-placed Honduras will play Australia in a play-off
USA finished fifth in the North American final standings. Panama joined Mexico and Costa Rica in qualifying for the World Cup while fourth-placed Honduras will play Australia in a play-off

The US hadn’t missed the World Cup since 1986 and have generally made light work of qualifying.

But their defeat coupled with other results meant the Americans will not be going to Russia next summer.

USA needed just a point in the Caribbean to seal third place with a far superior goal difference to Panama and Honduras.

Mexico and Costa Rica had already qualified and had little to play for on the final day, and that did USA little favours.

Honduras fought back to beat Mexico 3-2, while Panama scored an 88th-minute winner to beat Costa Rica 2-1.

 

USA missed the World Cup for the first time in 32 years after a surprise defeat
USA missed the World Cup for the first time in 32 years after a surprise defeat
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US football rising star Christian Pulisic was powerless to prevent defeat
US football rising star Christian Pulisic was powerless to prevent defeat

Both sides leapfrogged USA in the table as they fell to a 2-1 loss in Trinidad.

Panama sealed third place and qualification for the World Cup ahead of Honduras on goal difference.

Honduras will play Australia in a two-legged play-off next month for a spot in Russia.

An Omar Gonzalez own-goal followed by an Alvin Jones strike put Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 ahead in the first half to set alarm bells ringing for US boss Arena.

Rising star Christian Pulisic pulled one back, but USA were never able to force an equaliser.

And results elsewhere meant their run of seven World Cup appearances in a row came to a shock end.

Trinidad and Tobago had just one win in nine games before Tuesday
Trinidad and Tobago had just one win in nine games before Tuesday
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Huddersfield boss David Wagner has been rewarded for loyalty to stars and Stoke need to add steel

ONLY WAY IS UP FOR PREM NEW BOYS The three newly-promoted teams have been fantastic this season and are being rewarded for standing by the players that got them into the Premier League. On Saturday, Huddersfield boss David Wagner fielded six players on show who featured for them in the Championship. Brighton had seven and […]

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ONLY WAY IS UP FOR PREM NEW BOYS

The three newly-promoted teams have been fantastic this season and are being rewarded for standing by the players that got them into the Premier League.

David Wagner has impressed this season at Huddersfield
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On Saturday, Huddersfield boss David Wagner fielded six players on show who featured for them in the Championship.

Brighton had seven and Newcastle had eight.

OK, all three teams have been a bit defensive but it is hard to be critical after the start they have made.

STOKE NEED STEEL

It has been a tough start to the season for Stoke in terms of fixtures.


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They have very good technical players but now they need to battle.

Boss Mark Hughes was a wonderful footballer but he also had that fighting spirit. And he needs to instil that into his players.

The old saying is: “Can you do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night at Stoke?”

Well, Stoke players need to prove they can do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night at Stoke now.

Mark Hughes looks irritated on the sideline at the Brittania
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TOON’S TEMPLATE  FOR THE DEFENCE

Only the top three have conceded fewer goals than Newcastle this season.

And it is in large part thanks to Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden, their two holding midfielders who screen the back four brilliantly.  It is a good template for success.

Boss Rafa Benitez could have funds to play with should a new owner take control of Newcastle
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RUNNING MEN

Of Manchester City’s 32 goals this season, 23 have come in the second half.

It is a sign of how they grind teams down with their constant pressing and how well they keep the ball.

When you get tired the first thing that goes is your concentration.

And there can be  nothing more tiring than trying to keep track of City’s runners.

Silva reckons De Bruyne can go on to win the Ballon dOr
Silva reckons De Bruyne can go on to win the Ballon dOr
Reuters
Pep Guardiola has turned Man city into world-beaters, with superstars like Kevin De Bruyne, but over time Liverpool can build their own mega-team
Pep Guardiola has turned Man city into world-beaters with superstars like Kevin De Bruyne
Rex Features

BRAVE REFS REQUIRED

There has been a lot of debate about Bernardo Silva’s penalty. Was it a dive or not?

The problem we have is that unless a player goes to ground, penalties aren’t given. Until that changes, players will always make the most of any contact.

I’m not condoning diving but until refs are brave enough to play the advantage, allowing an attacker to stay on his feet and then bring it back and give a spot-kick if the attack comes to nothing, it won’t change.

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Everton ballboy pranks millions of TV viewers during 5-2 defeat to Arsenal at Goodison Park

EVERTON entertained Arsenal today at Goodison Park – but one ballboy decided he wanted to be the TV star. As Gunners star Alexis Sanchez took a corner, the cheeky lad took his moment to shine. He decided to play “the circle game” which will be familiar with millions of people around the world. Usually known […]

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EVERTON entertained Arsenal today at Goodison Park – but one ballboy decided he wanted to be the TV star.

As Gunners star Alexis Sanchez took a corner, the cheeky lad took his moment to shine.

This was the sign done by a cheeky ballboy during Everton vs Arsenal

He decided to play “the circle game” which will be familiar with millions of people around the world.

Usually known as a childhood prank, one person makes an “OK” sign below their waist, and tries to get others to “look at it”.

If the sign is spotted, the guilty looker can expect to receive a punch to the arm or shoulder.

So that essentially means the boy can expect to hand out hundreds of thousands, if not millions of digs, to everyone who spotted his big performance.

Wayne Rooney took his moment to shine from more than 20 yards out
Wayne Rooney took his moment to shine from more than 20 yards out
Reuters
Wayne Rooney leaps for joy - and the ballboy will be similarly pleased with his efforts at Goodison Park
Wayne Rooney leaps for joy – and the ballboy will be similarly pleased with his efforts at Goodison Park
AFP

He will have been delighted when Wayne Rooney scored a worldie after just 10 minutes, but less so when Arsenal fought back to take a lead.

First Nacho Monreal ensured the teams went in at the break level at 1-1, then further goals from Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette moved Arsenal into a healthy lead.


‘CLASS IS PERMANENT’ Wayne Rooney puts Everton into early lead against Arsenal with a stunning goal to send Twitter into meltdown


The lad may just about have outdone Watford’s Troy Deeney in the cheeky department.

The 29-year-old got to grips with a pitch invade at Watford’s 4-2 loss to Chelsea by grabbing his bum.

Deeney – who questioned Arsenal’s balls last week – got a handful of rump at Stamford Bridge.

And it may have helped him forget about his side’s unlucky 4-2 defeat to Antonio Conte’s side, they at one point lead 2-1.

Getty Images - Getty
Troy Deeney got a good feel of a pitch invader at Chelsea[/caption]

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Neymar sent off for PSG before Edinson Cavani rescues a point with stunning free-kick against Marseille

NEYMAR was sent off – the victim of shameless Marseille playacting – before penalty rival Edinson Cavani scored a stunning free-kick to rescue a point for PSG. The Brazilian’s first-half strike cancelled out Luis Gustavo’s opener before Newcastle flop Florian Thauvin put the home side ahead. But the former Barcelona man was cruelly stitched up […]

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NEYMAR was sent off – the victim of shameless Marseille playacting – before penalty rival Edinson Cavani scored a stunning free-kick to rescue a point for PSG.

The Brazilian’s first-half strike cancelled out Luis Gustavo’s opener before Newcastle flop Florian Thauvin put the home side ahead.

Neymar was sent off against Marseille after teh referee was conned
EPA

But the former Barcelona man was cruelly stitched up by conman Lucas Ocampos – who hacked away at his legs until he fell over and then dived on the floor faking a facial injury – to get him his second caution.

But, with seconds remaining, Cavani, who was involved in a running battle with the world’s most expensive player over who takes spot-kicks at the club, smashed home a perfect set-piece.

Running battles between Marseille fans and the French police outside the stadium created a fierce atmosphere for the game dubbed the Classique.

And Neymar was pelted with litter every time he went to the Stade Veladrome touchline to deliver a corner.


REAL MADRID 3 EIBAR 0 Marco Asensio , Marcelo and own-goal send Zinedine Zidane’s men third


The Marseille man went to ground to get Neymar sent off
AFP or licensors
Lucas Ocampos acted to get Neymar sent off
AFP or licensors
Netmar had scored earlier in the night before his second caution
EPA

Marseille shocked the support-less visitors on 16 minutes when Brazilian Gustavo look a swipe at the ball from long range and found the back of the net.

Cavani had half-chances to equalise but was not able to convert them, leaving it to his penalty nemesis to grab the plaudits.

The former Barcelona man crashed home on 33 minutes after clever play from French youngster Adrien Rabiot who created the opener.

Marseille sent Clinton N’Jie  – the Tottenham disappointment – on after 66 minutes to try to stretch the visiting defence and the gamble paid off.

Edinson Cavani won a late free-kick and smashed it in
Reuters
Edinson Cavani whipped the ball up and over the wall
Reuters
PSG star Edinson Cavani roared to celebrate his goal
AFP or licensors

The winger robbed Rabiot of the ball down the right wing and his instinctive whipped cross was met by Thauvin at the front post for a thumping volley.

The action on the pitch threatened to turn ugly in the final four minutes when Lucas Ocampos got Neymar sent off.

The Marseille man hacked away at Neymar until he went down and bounced back up to demand a foul.

As he got to his feet, his head brushed Ocampos and he went to ground like he had been tagged by a sniper, leaving Neymar picking up a second caution.

But – before he could even make his early bath – Cavani earned a free-kick and smashed it past Steve Mandanda and in off the crossbar.

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