The USMNT had one final shot to seal a World Cup bid on Tuesday night. It started off promisingly as they took on Trinidad and Tobago. Then, disaster struck. On a seemingly harmless play, defender Omar Gonzalez kicked a ball right into his own net, giving up a 1-0 lead. Some teams would have shrunk after such a brutal setback, but the United States persevered forward throughout the rest of the evening. As a result, the Americans booked their 2018 trip to Russia for soccer's mecca.

Gonzalez makes critical mistake

The busted play came a bit more than a third of the way through the first half. There wasn't much movement in the back end of the field, as the two teams battled for possession.

A cross came in towards the net, but Gonzalez managed to get his foot on it. Normally, that would be a good thing. For the USMNT, however, that was not the case, as the ball went flying at an absurd angle, right over Tim Howard's head and into the net.

The look upon Gonzalez's face said it all: what just happened. It was a feeling of shock that would be all over the USMNT's faces for the rest of the evening. For the rest of the game, it felt as if the Americans were in a daze. It's almost as if they knew they just surrendered the most important goal in the last three decades of the program. Soon enough, that sentiment would become a grim reality.

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USMNT makes (bad) history

When the game finally ended, the USMNT was on the losing side of the scoreboard, 2-1. They needed a miracle in the form of Panama and Honduras both falling short of victory in their matches. That didn't happen, leaving the United States short of the World Cup [VIDEO] for the first time since 1986. Gonzalez consigned them to that fate at the beginning of the game, but the team showed little for the rest of the night - or the qualification cycle, for that matter - that garnered World Cup glory.

Gonzalez was extremely contrite and stunned following the game, shouldering the blame for what happened to the USMNT - rightfully so. Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time before the reports start of him receiving death threats and scary social media messages, which is patently unfair. It may be a global event, but the World Cup is still just a smattering of games. This man will still have a life to live when he returns home. That life just won't include a trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

It wasn't the result the USNMNT had hoped for, but it was the result they deserved.