POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 9:13am
El Paso, TX — What a Tuesday night in Soccer! USA advance to the World Cup Finals in Brazil, while helping their southern neighbors advance to the World Cup playoff against New Zealand!
The U.S. Men’s National Team shattered Panama’s hopes of a berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup with two stoppage-time goals to rally for a 3-2 victory at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
Second-half substitute Aron Johannsson, playing in only his fourth game with the U.S. MNT, scored the game-winning goal in the third minute of stoppage time. That was preceded by a Graham Zusi equalizer one minute earlier.
With the victory, the U.S. MNT equals its best performance in FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a 7-2-1 record and 22 points, matching its point total from the 2005 Hexagonal. The USA finishes atop the CONCACAF region, followed by Costa Rica (5-2-3, 18 points), Honduras (4-3-3, 15 points), Mexico (2-3-5, 11 points), Panama (1-4-5, 8 points) and Jamaica (0-5-5, 5 points).
The top three teams automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Despite Mexico’s 2-1 loss to Costa Rica, Mexico still has a shot at the FIFA World Cup with an Intercontinental Playoff set for New Zealand, which will be played on Nov. 15 and 19.