USMNT World Cup Appeal Talk Surfaces After Controversial Panama Goal

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Panama president Juan Carlos Valera has declared Wednesday a public holiday in the country after the national team qualified for their first ever World Cup. Tomorrow [Wednesday] is a national holiday.

Qualification to the tournament, which starts next June, was secured after Panama beat Costa Rica by a scoreline of 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

The victory left them third in the CONCACAF area qualification behind Mexico and Costa Rica, and sensationally helped knock the United States out of contention.

Panama's success also strengthened the hand of those who argue that the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams is not necessary to allow more smaller countries to take part.

But while they celebrated, US commiserated as they failed to qualify for football's crown jewel for the first time since 1986 after defeat by bottom-side Trinidad and Tobago.

In remarkable scenes, a substitute raced 20 yards out of the technical area to boot the ball clear after it had gone out for a throw in. After equalising just after the second half kicked off, a tense half hour of football awaited the onlooking Panama fans.

The equalising goal came into the box from a corner and deflected off of Gabriel Torres' backside before hitting the inside of the far post.

OneFootball.com provided footage of the phantom goal in question, where Torres' attempt to turn the ball into the net fell short despite the referee's decision to award an equaliser at the time.

The American media weren't making any excuses, as was shown by former player-turned-pundit, Taylor Twellman, who gave this passionate response to their failure to qualify.

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