On Soccer: A Day of World Cup Magic, Around the World

Panama, a victor against Costa Rica, will be there for the first time — thanks, in part, to a goal that did not happen. It was such an auspicious occasion for the country that the next day was immediately declared a national holiday. The United States, beaten by Trinidad and Tobago, will not be there, the shining brilliance of Christian Pulisic not enough to prevent the country from missing its first finals since 1986.


Panama’s fans celebrated after Panama beat Costa Rica on Tuesday. This will be Panama’s first World Cup.

Alejandro Bolivar/European Pressphoto Agency

Honduras might yet qualify, thanks to a win against Mexico, but only if it can beat Australia, which edged past Syria, the decisive goal coming after 199 minutes of 210. That is one of the intercontinental playoffs for a place in Russia; the other features New Zealand and a Peru team indebted to David Ospina, the Colombia goalkeeper, and an eagle-eyed referee. Peru and Colombia tied, 1-1, in Lima. Peru’s goal came from Paolo Guerrero, scoring direct from an indirect free kick. Had Ospina not…

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