Sunday, September 25, 2016

USA largely dominated in Copa America 2016 opener

June 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Copa America, US National Teams

Copa America Centenario: USA 0-2 Colombia

US Men’s National Team have big expectations for the tournament the Americans are hosting. However they are onto a rough start after losing the opening match of the tournament to a strong world-class Colombian side. It only took the South Americans eight minute to be on the scoreboard when Zapata volleyed the ball in from a corner kick. The first half could not end worse for USMNT when Rodriguez converted a penalty for a hand ball at the forty-first minute.

The second half saw an array of chances for the US but Colombia proved to be the most dangerous hitting the cross bar on one occasion. USMNT and Klinsmann are already under pressure and would need to dispose of Costa Rica and Paraguay to advance which could be a very complicated task.

Coach USMNT Klinsmann comments on the defeat:

“We were absolutely OK with the team performance. Obviously we got punished for two set pieces in the first half, and then against such a quality team [it’s] very, very difficult if you don’t force one goal to get back into the game and equalize it. But overall, we were completely even. We didn’t give them anything. We wish that we had some more opportunities to score.

They’re a good team, they have good players. But saying that, they finished their chances. Obviously we’re just disappointed, but they are beatable for sure. We did show some good things, and I think we were playing better soccer than we have in a long time and the formation, the guys are moving off of one another, we’re creating good things, and I think it will come.”

Coach Colombia Pekerman:

“We can’t say they’re not good just because they’re the United States. Today might not be the best day to talk about how much the US has progressed because it was a tournament debut where expectations on them were very high, and I think Colombia’s merit made them look a bit bad.”

“A goal always provides a lot of confidence and the team felt they could manage the game, but the United States forced us a lot to reset and find our positions again, because they were trying to tie the match. We tried to take advantage of our chances and had more goal scoring situations, I can name a couple that were very close. The United States is a very competitive team which is not easy to outscore and we have to show respect to them.” 

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