Saturday, November 18, 2017

USA draw Portugal, deny Round of 16 berth – reactions

June 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, US National Teams

USA 2-2 Portugal

Jurgen Klinsmann, USA coach
On his overall thoughts about the game:
JK: “It was a thriller, a real exciting match. I think everybody who had the chance to be today in Manaus will talk about this game for a long time. If we would have said starting the tournament with four points after the first two games, we would have been really happy about it. Obviously when you get goal [scored on you] in the last seconds of the game when you have pretty much six points then it’s a bummer for a moment that you have to swallow. But, it was an outstanding game by all the players. We discussed at halftime with all the players. We said, ‘It’s all good guys, we’re going to get this first goal, then we’re going to get a second goal.’ So, we felt very confident that we’d turn things around, which we did and we could have added a third or fourth goal with the chances we had. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that and it ended in a tie. Overall, it’s been quite an amazing game.”

On if he expects a draw in the game against Germany with both teams needing only a point to advance:
JK: “I don’t think we are made for draws, except if it happens like tonight – a late goal in the last seconds. I think both [the USA and Germany] want to win the group. We want to go into this game, recover fast and go at Germany, get three points and have seven points on our side and be in the driver’s seat for the Round of 16. That is our goal. It’s a little bit more difficult now after that second goal [given up to Portugal], we would be through already, which maybe some people didn’t expect so much before the tournament, but I’m sure that in four days we are going to see a very exciting match in Recife. I think there’s coming a lot of respect now from our opponents since we started this tournament. We’ll do everything now to get recovery time for the players, get back to our base hotel – they’re going to see their families. In two days from now we’re going to Recife and prepare for that match.”

On his emotions about the last seconds of the game:
JK: “These finishes are very emotional for all of us, for the fans for the players, for the bench and that is what a World Cup is all about. You live through those emotions positively and negatively. You just kind of cross it off then and move on. We have to move on quickly. We’re going to take this point and do everything now just gearing toward Germany. We won’t talk anymore about Portugal. That’s now off the table. It’s all about how we’re going to give Germany a lot of problems four days from now in Recife. That’s what we’re going to do and this is what a World Cup is all about. The World Cup is always about the next thing that comes up, so this was a little bit of a bummer but we move on and get the next one.”

On his vantage point for the final play:
JK: “We talk about it when you see goals, it’s always a sequence of mistakes that happen and that’s unfortunate but that’s why goals happen. Also for you when the other team is making mistakes and you’re going to get to score. In that moment, I think Michael Bradley got caught in the middle of three or four guys and lost the ball unfortunately. Then the counter break comes and even if we had in this moment three center backs on the field, we were not able to get to that cross, which was a beautiful cross and so they finished it off. But it’s not over until it’s over, both ways, and I just hoped the referee could let it go for another 30 seconds because DeAndre Yedlin was already going at the other goal, and then he blew the final whistle. But it is what it is and now we’re going to get everybody recovered and hungry and excited about that match in Recife.”

On recovering psychologically from the game and how the team will move past the result:
JK: “It’s not very difficult because I think the team is showing amazing progress throughout the last couple of weeks. We’ll build on everything we worked on. It’s been more than five weeks, and you see more and more the quality and results coming through that building process. The way we controlled most of the game today against a very strong Portuguese side is telling you how far we made it already. We’re going to build on all the good things that we did today and take these things into the Germany game so we can hopefully avoid then the things that didn’t go so well, which were not many, and continue that path. I think the spirit is very good. We are full of confidence. We make it a little bit more difficult with the next game to play to qualify, but we knew from the beginning that it was going to be a tough group to go through. We are right there; we have one foot in the door. We just have to talke the second foot in there and get it done.”

Paulo Bento, Portugal coach
It’s clearly not a good result for us. The 2-2 doesn’t put us out of the World Cup mathematically, but it does leave us in a very difficult situation. Not just because of what we’ll need to do against Ghana, but also because we’ll need a favourable result from the Germany-United States game. We were unlucky late in the first half, but it was a great effort to level the match [in second-half injury time]. Now all we can do is to give everything in our very last game and try and make the most of the very little chance that we have left.

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