U.S. fails to qualify for the Olympics with loss to Colombia, 2-1

U.S. fails to qualify for the Olympics with loss to Colombia, 2-1
U.S. goalkeeperEthan Horvath after a goal by Colombia during the first half of a 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying playoff on March 29. (Sarah Crabill / Getty Images)

For the first time in a half century, the United States has failed to qualify for consecutive Olympic men's soccer tournaments.

Roger Martinez scored twice, Americans Luis Gil and Matt Miazga were ejected and Colombia's under-23 team defeated the U.S. 2-1 Tuesday night to earn the last berth in the Rio de Janeiro Games with a 3-2 aggregate win.


Following a nightmare in Nashville four years ago, when the Americans were eliminated by El Salvador, they had a fiasco in Frisco.

Martinez redirected Andres Roa's off-target shot past goalkeeper Ethan Horvath in the 30th minute. An own goal by Delver Machado tied the score in the 59th, with the defender heading the ball over his own keeper while trying to clear Jordan Morris' pass from Emerson Hyndman.

Martinez put the Colombians back ahead in the 64th minute, eluding Tim Parker at the 6-yard box and beating Horvath. At that point, because the first tiebreaker is away goals, the Americans needed to score twice.

The U.S. then showed its frustration. Gil, who scored in the first leg, entered in the 67th minute and was given a yellow card by Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov in the 77th for fouling Wilmer Barrios near midfield. Gil dissented and was shown a red.

Miazga received a red in the 90th minute for fouling Christian Borga just outside the penalty area on a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

The U.S. last failed to qualify for consecutive Olympics from 1960-68. Colombia will make its first appearance since 1992.

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said the 2012 group of under 23 players were set back by their failure to play at the London Olympics and he made qualifying for Brazil a priority, installing top assistant Andi Herzog as under-23 coach.

But the Americans were forced into the playoff by losing to Honduras 2-0 last October in the semifinal round of the regional qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Americans' defeat prevented a sweep of matches for the U.S. men's program on Tuesday. The senior national team beat Guatemala 4-0 in a World Cup qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio.

Before a sparse crowd of 7,998, the Americans were outshot 11-5, including 6-0 in shots on target, increasing Colombia's advantage to 29-10 and 12-1 over the two legs.

Herzog made two changes to his starting lineup, inserting midfielder Paul Arriola in place of Gil and for Desevio Payne started instead of Eric Miller. Horvath was back in goal. He left the first leg late in the first half after colliding with Colombia's Andres Renteria just outside the penalty area.