The United States’ soccer team will not be headed to the Olympics thanks to an epic goalkeeping gaffe.
The U.S. Under-23 team tied El Salvador 3-3 on Monday night, ending its Olympic dream, but the play that cost them a trip to London will be remembered for quite some time.
Young keeper Sean Johnson allowed a speculative shot from El Salvador’s Jaime Alas to slip through his hands in the final seconds of the match in Nashville Monday night, tying the game and ending America’s Olympic hopes. Video of the goal can be seen here.
It was a horrible way for the game to end, as the 22-year-old Johnson stood stunned on the edge of the penalty area. His teammates were scattered around the field in various stages of disbelief and horror. Meanwhile, El Salvador’s players celebrated wildly, as their Olympic hopes were suddenly still miraculously alive.
Johnson had replaced starting keeper Bill Hamid, who left with an injury in the first half.
The United States trailed 2-1 at the half but U.S. got goals from Terrence Boyd (his second of the match) and Joe Corona in the 65th and 68th minutes to take the lead. It appeared the Americans were on their way to the next round and had atoned for a disastrous loss to Canada on Saturday.
But with the tie, El Salvador will advance from Group A instead of the U.S. and the country’s team will be excluded from the London 2012 games.