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The United States And Chile Will Miss The 2018 World Cup, Here Are The Memes (And Goals)

10/11/17 Omar Villegas

Whew. Where do we begin. The final match day of 2018 World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF (North America, Central America & Caribbean) and CONMEBOL (South America) was intense. With the fate of several teams, including Argentina, Chile, Peru and the United States, all being decided in one day, this match day was not for the faint of heart.

Before the matches began, all eyes were on perennial World Cup favorite Argentina. Despite boasting the top player in the world, Lionel Messi, Argentina was in danger of elimination with a loss. Would Messi lead his team to victory and a trip to Russia?

Next was Peru. With a victory, “La Blanquirroja” had a chance to book a ticket to the World Cup for the first time since 1982.

The United States, despite its earlier struggles during qualification, looked to be in a good position to qualify. All the U.S. needed to advance was a win or draw against Trinidad & Tobago, a team that was already eliminated from World Cup qualification.

As the day progressed, there were lots of goals and several unexpected plot twists. Here’s how it all went down.

Less than a minute after Argentina vs. Ecuador kicked off, Ecuador scored a goal. If the result held, Argentina would have been eliminated.

But sure enough, Lionel Messi put the team on his back, scoring a hat trick to seal a victory and a trip to the World Cup.

Messi’s clutch performance made it look like this was Argentina’s starting lineup:

memedeportes.com

Messi quieted those who said he could only perform at a high level for his club team, Barcelona.

Once again, Messi became more than a hero.

Colombia vs. Peru was a nail-biter, with Colombia striking first and Peru leveling the score in the second half. The game ended in a 1-1 draw…

… which meant Chile was out of the World Cup after its 0-3 loss to Brazil.

The CONMEBOL teams that qualified for the World Cup were Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia. Peru kept its World Cup hopes alive and will have a two-match playoff versus New Zealand.

Chile, the reigning Copa America champs, will experience the World Cup like many of us:

Like Argentina, the United States gave up an early goal. Unfortunately for the Stars & Stripes, they gave up a second goal to Trinidad & Tobago.

Despite being down 0-2, the U.S. was still on track to make the World Cup. Why? By halftime, Panama and Honduras, the two teams that could leapfrog the U.S. in the standings, were also losing.

Christian Pulisic gave the USMNT a lifeline with an early second half goal.

All the U.S. needed was another goal to tie the match.

But as the clock ticked, Honduras tied things up with Mexico AND Panama tied things up with Costa Rica.

Both Mexico and Costa Rica had already booked their tickets to Russia.

Then Honduras took a 3-2 lead over Mexico…

… Panama took a 2-1 lead over Costa Rica…

And the United States, which failed to score another goal, was eliminated.

The CONCACAF teams that qualified for the World Cup were Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. Honduras will face off Australia in a two-game playoff.

Naturally, USMNT fans were devastated.

U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl summed up it this way:

Of course, rival fans were ready with the memes.

Even U.S. fans were roasting their team…

… and themselves.

It seemed like Pulisic was the only player to escape criticism.

Just how unlikely was the result? Here are some numbers for you:

With the U.S., Chile and Netherlands all eliminated from the World Cup, some Mexico fans rejoiced.

The U.S. eliminated Mexico from the World Cup in 2002, Argentina eliminated Mexico in back-to-back World Cups (2006 and 2010), and Netherlands eliminated Mexico in 2014 (the infamous “No Era Penal” match).

But the biggest party will happen today in Panama…

… where President Juan Carlos Varela declared a public holiday so the country can celebrate its first appearance in a World Cup.

¡Felicidades, Panama!

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