The USA made a big slip by celebrating World Cup qualifiers a little too early.
The American national team defeated Panama in a crucial 5-1 victory at Exploria Stadium thanks to a hat-trick by Chelsea star Christian Pulisic.
The Stars and Stripes then celebrated with a banner that read ‘QUALIFIED’, unaware that their place in Qatar is not yet sealed.
The USA are close to qualifying for the World Cup but have one final game against Costa Rica where a loss of six goals or more would put them in a decider, most likely against New Zealand.
Such a heavy defeat seems unlikely but Pulisic nevertheless admitted the celebration was an honest mistake.
The striker said: “The guys didn’t know what it was saying at all. It was just given out of their hands.
“Once we realized we didn’t have to show that anymore because we still have a job to do.
“We’re going to be honest about it like any other game. We’re going to prepare like we would if we needed a win.”
US coach Gregg Berhalter echoed Pulisic’s statement by insisting his team understand the work is not done.
Berhalter confirmed that the players are fully focused on Costa Rica and will not underestimate Wednesday’s opponents.
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The American head coach said: “We’ve come a big step closer to our goal of qualifying for the World Cup.
“We know we’re not there yet, despite what that banner might have said.
“We know we still have a game to play and it’s a difficult game in Costa Rica so our job now is to recover, regenerate and then put healthy guys, fit guys on the field and to compete in San Jose, where we’ve never won.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4991439/usa-panama-2022-world-cup-qatar/ USA accidentally celebrate with ‘qualified’ banner after Panama win