Scoreboard - United States - USMNT - Final vs. Trinidad
John Todd/isiphotos.com

Minute-by-Minute: How Tuesday night went horribly wrong for the USA

Tuesday night began with the US national team controlling their own destiny on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. By the end, the Americans were on the outside looking in at Panama and Honduras, their hopes demolished following a 2-0 defeat in what's already proving to be one of the most stunning nights in US soccer and CONCACAF history.

Just how did it all happen? Let's take a closer look at how things broke down in Couva, San Pedro Sula and Panama City, minute by minute

1'

TRI 0, USA 0 | HON 0, MEX 0 | PAN 0, CRC 0

As the night begins, the U.S. hold a two-point edge – with a goal-differential tiebreaker – on both Honduras and Panama. But while Los Catrachos and Los Canaleros played in front of raucous home crowds, Bruce Arena's men played before a sparsely populated Ato Bolden Stadium, against a Trinidad side that had already been eliminated.

As results stand: 3. USA 13pts (qualified), 4. PAN 11pts (playoff), 5. HON 11pts (eliminated)

17'

TRI 1, USA 0 | HON 0, MEX 1 | PAN 0, CRC 0

Things get off to a shocking start in the Caribbean, where US defender Omar Gonzalez has scored a belief-defying own goal on a mis-hit clearance that sailed over 'keeper Tim Howard and into his own net. Even so, Oribe Peralta has just put Mexico ahead in San Pedro Sula.

As results stand: 3. USA 12pts (qualified), 4. PAN 11pts (playoff), 5. HON 10pts (eliminated)

34'

TRI 1, USA 0 | HON 1, MEX 1 | PAN 0, CRC 0

Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis becomes the first MLS player to score in CONCACAF play on Tuesday evening. (Hint: He wouldn't be the last). That brings Honduras level and the US closer to having to settle for a playoff against Australia.

As results stand: 3. USA 12 pts (qualified), 4. PAN 11pts (playoff), 5. HON 11pts (eliminated)

37'

TRI 2, USA 0 | HON 1, MEX 2 | PAN 0, CRC 1

John Todd/ISIphotos.com

After going ahead through a fortunate goal, the Soca Warriors double their lead through an absolutely audacious strike from Alvin Jones. Even so, LAFC signee Carlos Vela has just put El Tri ahead again, while MNUFC attacker Johan Venegas has hit in the opener in Panama. It's hard to imagine both Honduras and Panama winning from here.

As results stand: 3. USA 12pts (qualified), 4. PAN 10pts (playoff), 5. HON 10pts (eliminated)

HALF

TRI 2, USA 0 | HON 1, MEX 2 | PAN 0, CRC 1

Howard nearly spills Jones' free kick into his own net, but the scores remain the same into the break. The US have looked sluggish over their opening 45 minutes, and Bruce Arena will soon insert Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey. Even so, they might back into Russia anyway right now.

As results stand: 3. USA 12pts (qualified), 4. PAN 10pts (playoff), 5. HON 10pts (eliminated)

47'

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 1, MEX 2 | PAN 0, CRC 1

Christian Pulisic hits a belter from near the penalty arc and the Yanks are immediately back in the game. Given their superior talent, it almost feels as if it's a question of when, rather than if, the Americans will equalize. Once they get that goal, everything else is moot.

As results stand: 3. USA 12 pts (qualified), 4. PAN 10pts (playoff), 5. HON 10pts (eliminated)

54'

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 2, MEX 2 | PAN 1, CRC 1

Things are starting to get scary. In San Pedro Sula, Eddie Hernandez's shot comes out off the woodwork, only to deflect off the back of Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. A minute later, Panama are awarded an equalizer even though the ball clearly doesn't cross the line. Another goal from Honduras or Panama and the US needs an equalizer or a gameplan to stop Tim Cahill.

As results stand: 3. USA 12pts (qualified), 4. PAN 11pts (playoff), 5. HON 11pts (eliminated)

61'

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 3, MEX 2 | PAN 1, CRC 1

REUTERS/Fredy Omar Lopez

Honduras have turned it around! Romell Quioto joins his Dynamo teammate on the scoresheet with a worm-burner that beats Ochoa to the bottom left corner. They're going bananas at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, while it's eerily quiet in living rooms across the U.S. Right now, it's Honduras going to a third straight World Cup, and the U.S. facing Australia.

As results stand: 3. HON 13pts (qualified), 4. USA 12pts (playoff), 5. PAN 11pts (eliminated)

77'

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 3, MEX 2 | PAN 1, CRC 1

After Adrian Foncette denies Dempsey on a set piece several minutes earlier, Deuce looks to have beaten the T&T keeper, but his shot strikes the woodwork! That would've made him the US's all-time top scorer and a qualifying hero all-in-one. Instead, the U.S. are still hoping for an equalizer of their own, or one from Mexico.

As results stand: 3. HON 13pts (qualified), 4. USA 12pts (playoff), 5. PAN 11pts (eliminated)

88'

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 3, MEX 2 | PAN 2, CRC 1

REUTERS/Carlos Lemos

Disaster for the US in Panama. Seattle Sounders defender Roman Torres roars down the field to hammer home an emphatic volley and give Panama the lead. And they'd edge Honduras on goal difference. Is Hernan Dario Gomez taking Panama to Russia? Are the Americans really staying home?

As results stand: 3. PAN 13pts (qualified), 4. HON 13pts (playoff), 5. USA 12pts (eliminated)

FULL TIME

TRI 2, USA 1 | HON 3, MEX 2 | PAN 2, CRC 1

It's final in Couva and in Panama City. Mexico has a very late set piece in Honduras' area, but nothing comes of it. The final whistle blows in San Pedro Sula. It's all over. Panama are going to the World Cup for the first time in their history. Honduras have their shot at Australia in a playoff next month.  And the Americans will have two long years to think about how this all happened before qualifying for 2022 begins.

The final results: 3. PAN 13pts (GD -1), 4. HON 13pts (GD -6 / playoff), 5. USA 12pts (GD +4 / eliminated)