The United States won't be fielding a team in the men's soccer tournament at the 2012 Olympics after surrendering a goal in the final seconds of a qualifying match against El Salvador. After losing to Canada over the weekend, the Americans needed a victory against El Salvador on Monday to advance to the semifinals of the North American qualifying tournament. It looked like they had it the bag too, holding a 3-2 lead with more than four minutes gone in the second-half stoppage time. Until this long range shot from Jaime Alas bounced off the hand of backup goalie Sean Johnson and skipped into the net, tieing the game and ending the Americans' run.
It was a rough game in more than one way, as American Terrance Boyd was bloodied by a punch from a Salvadoran player (who went unpunished) and other U.S. players said they were bitten by their oppoents during the match. It will be the third time since 1976 that the U.S. has failed to qualify a team for the men's Olympic tournament. Olympic rules only allow nations to use their Under-23 teams, which means countries can't use their absolute best player to compete.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.