NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Olympic soccer competition will go on without the United States this year.
El Salvador made sure of that Monday night when it ousted the U.S. team from Olympic qualifying with a 3-3 tie.
The Americans had to win to reach Saturday’s semifinals at Livestrong Sporting Park, and they led 3-2 on Joe Corona’s goal in the 68th minute.
But Jaime Alas scored a goal off the hands of keeper Sean Johnson and stunned the Americans, who missed the Olympics for the second time since 1976.
El Salvador reached the semifinals, putting it a win away from its first Olympic berth since 1968. Canada, which tied Cuba 1-1 earlier, finished second.
Lester Blanco and Andres Flores also scored for El Salvador.
Terrence Boyd scored twice for the U.S., and Johnson replaced keeper Bill Hamid in the 39th minute.
After a 2-0 loss to Canada in the second of this three-game, round-robin tournament, it was a must-win situation for the Americans.
The crowd of 7,889 was about evenly split between the countries, keeping the U.S. team from a true home-field advantage at LP Field, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
El Salvador survived a physical game with plenty of yellow cards on each side.