SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — The United States men are returning to the World Cup after the anguish of missing the 2018 tournament.
The U.S. notched their spot in the tournament despite a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica on the final night of qualifying.
Juan Pablo Vargas headed Brandon Aguilera’s corner kick past the U.S. goalkeeper in the 51st minute of the game. Anthony Contreras then knocked in a cross off a scramble in the 59th minute.
A sellout crowd of about 35,000 in National Stadium came to life, but the Americans’ 5-1 rout of Panama at home last weekend gave them a huge goal-difference margin over Costa Rica that put them in position to qualify.
The World Cup will take place in Qatar. It's scheduled to begin on Nov. 21. However, the draw for the tournament will be released on April 1.