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Disaster scenario becomes reality for DeAndre Yedlin

5 years ago

A nightmare scenario has unfolded for DeAndre Yedlin.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning (UK time), everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, for the Newcastle defender and his international teammates.

In a Newcastle-style implosion, the USMNT managed to avoid qualification for the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

Four days earlier, DeAndre Yedlin played well in an excellent 4-0 thrashing of Panama, to seemingly swipe away any chance of failing to qualify for the first time since 1986.

The US were in a final (after earlier qualifying stages to reach this point) six team CONCACAF group, the final round of matches to be played.

Yedlin and his teammates were up against Trinidad and Tobago, needing only a point for automatic qualification against a team that had lost eight of their nine matches and were guaranteed to be bottom of the group.

What is more, with nothing to play for, Trinidad and Tobago put out an experimental side of younger inexperienced players.

The Americans fell behind in the 17th minute to an own goal by Omar Gonzalez, with 38 year old former Man Utd and Everton keeper Tim Howard conjuring up images of the 40 year old Peter Shilton in Italia 90, needing only to walk a couple of paces back to catch the ball but instead it simply dropped over his head (watch below).

Alvin Jones then doubled the home side’s lead 20 minutes later with a decent long range effort but Tim Howard didn’t make much of an effort with that one either.

Christian Pulisic pulled one back only two minutes after the break and from then on it was pretty much defence v attack with the USMNT needing only one more goal for that automatic qualification.

It wasn’t to be and the 2-1 defeat is now being talked about as the most embarrassing performance in US team’s history.

Despite their defeat, the US had the comfort of knowing that only a very unlikely set of results elsewhere could still deny them third place in the group and automatic qualifying, or at least fourth place and the play-offs.

The top two in the group, Costa Rica and Mexico, were up against fourth and fifth placed Panama and Honduras. the top two had already qualified and between them lost only one of the 18 group matches they had played.

Of course the inevitable happened, group winners Mexico lost their first group match, going down 3-2 to Honduras.

Whilst Panama beat group runners-up Costa Rica 2-1.

The net result meaning DeAndre Yedlin and his international colleagues miss out on Russia 2018.

It will be little consolation for him but Yedlin was arguably the best player against Trinidad and Tobago – and in the player ratings by Goal, nobody got a higher mark than him on the visiting team.

DEANDRE YEDLIN, 6: Created flashes of danger with his energy down the flank and did well to limit opportunities on his side.

Hopefully Yedlin will return fully fit and desperate to make up for that defeat, when Newcastle face Southampton on Sunday, the defender having been excellent since he returned from injury.


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